Petr Cech
Petr Cech. Getty Images

37-year-old Petr Cech is dreaming of “the perfect ending” to a stellar career on Wednesday as Arsenal face Chelsea in the UEFA Europa League (UEL) final, Concise News reports.

On the life of a goalkeeper …

A goalkeeper is like an individual sport within a collective sport. You can have a big impact on games. I enjoy making big saves; some people enjoy scoring goals, I have the same satisfaction when I make a big save.

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You see everything in front of you as well, and it kind of gives you a conductor’s baton in your hand: you can move people around and you see things happening, and then, in the end, you are the last man at the back.

On joining Chelsea …

I signed in January [2004] and stayed in France until the end of the season. That was very important because it meant I had six months to prepare. I didn’t want to go straight in and find myself adapting to a new [style of] football, a new team, a new league. I had six months to watch every Chelsea game.

I had a big task. Carlo Cudicini had been voted player of the season, and you think ‘Wow, I’ll have a tough competition’. At the same time, when José Mourinho arrived everybody had a fresh start. I did everything I could so that he would choose me for the first game, which he did.

On winning 13 major trophies with Chelsea …

Like a dream come true. You feel like, ‘OK, this is all I wanted to do, and now I have the opportunity to do it at a big team, in the best league in the world’. You’re fighting for titles, something which you saw as a kid on TV. You hope that one day you will be a part of these teams, and then suddenly it’s happening.

I enjoyed the environment, when you are pushed to the limit, and it’s really up to you how well you do. Then it’s the satisfaction of having won the first title, the second title, and as we say in Czech, ‘He who eats a lot wants to eat more.’

On moving to Arsenal in 2015 …

I wanted to stay in the Premier League, I wanted to play and I felt I was still at the top of my game. I came to a club that had never won the Champions League, that had never won the Europa League. I thought, ‘You know, that’s why they want me here and this is what I’m going to try to do’.

One of the reasons I came to Arsenal was to try and win a European trophy for the club. My dream was to come here and for it to end the same way it did with Chelsea.

On facing Chelsea in Baku …

As soon as the quarter-final and the semi-final draw was made, you could see we were on opposite sides of the draw. Then I was thinking, ‘OK, it’s coming; it’s coming!’ It’s fate and hopefully, the dream will come true in the end with the trophy. That will be the perfect ending.

I’m proud of the level of my performance over 15 years in the Premier League, and 20 years as a professional player. I’ve set a very high standard in everything I’ve done and I’ve kept it going until the final day.

Culled from