From TheChels.info - The Chelsea Football Club Wiki
|Full Name||Petr Čech|
|Date of Birth||20 May 1982|
|Place of Birth||Plzeň, Czechoslovakia|
|Debut||15 August 2004|
|Games (goals)||494 (0)|
|Other clubs|| Blšany|
Petr Čech, (born 20 May 1982 in Plzeň, Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic) is a Czech international goalkeeper who played for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015. A fixture of the side during the most successful period of the club's history to date, he was a key member of various Chelsea teams as they won the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, four Premier League titles, the FA Cup four times, the League Cup three times and the Community Shield twice, making him the most decorated goalkeeper in Chelsea's history. Čech received the individual award of Best Goalkeeper in the 2004-05, 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons of the UEFA Champions League. In addition, he was named in the FIFPro and UEFA Champions League teams of the season in 2006. At the start of the 2014-15 season he lost his place in the starting line-up to Thibaut Courtois and was sold to London rivals Arsenal ahead of the 2015-16 season.
Born in Plzeň, Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic, Čech started playing football at age seven in his native town. As a young boy, he played for Viktoria Plzen and he first started as a striker due to his being tall at an early age. When Čech started playing as a goalkeeper in training, coaches took note of his abilities. By age 14, Čech grew from 180 cm to 196 cm, devoloping the height to match his burgeoning talent as a goalkeeper. Čech was transferred to Blšany and made his debut for the team on 30 October 1999. Čech became a regular for Blšany and soon attracted attention from bigger clubs, eventually moving to Sparta Prague at the age of 19. At the under-21 European Championships in June Čech led his country to the final. In a penalty shoot-out against favourites France, he let in only one of the penalty kicks as his team won the tournament. Having caught the eye of international scouts, Čech signed for French club Stade Rennes. The young goalkeeper performed well during his two seasons in France, helping the club avoid relegation in his first season, raising his international profile further.
With funds at his disposal following the recent aquisition of Chelsea by Roman Abramovich, Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri saw Čech as the ideal up-and-coming goalkeeper to bolster his squad and provide backup and competition for Carlo Cudicini. A bid in January 2004 was rejected, but a deal was agreed the following month, Čech agreeing a five year contract that would commence in July. The £7m fee meant that he had cost more than every other Chelsea goalkeeper in history put together.
Back-to-back league titlesJosé Mourinho selected Cech in goal for the season opener against Manchester United. He kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory, and would retain his place as first choice goalkeeper. On 5 March 2005, Čech set a new Premiership record of 1,025 minutes without letting in a goal. This record has since been broken by Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar. Čech was given a special award by the Premier League for the new record, and he was also awarded the Golden Gloves at the end of the 2004-05 season for keeping a record 25 clean sheets, as the Blues won the league for the first time in 50 years. Chelsea retained the Premiership title in 2005-06, with Čech playing in all but two games in the League. The team conceded only 15 goals in the entire League season, also a record.
On 14 October 2006, Čech and Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt both challenged for the ball inside Chelsea's penalty area in the first minute of a league match at the Madejski Stadium. Hunt's knee connected with Čech's head, leaving the keeper dazed. Čech was immediately taken off and replaced by Carlo Cudicini, who himself was knocked unconscious later in the same game. Captain John Terry ended up going in goal for the remaining minutes. Čech underwent surgery for a depressed skull fracture. Initially unaware of the seriousness of the injury, the doctors later reported that it nearly cost Čech his life, and as a result of the collision, he suffered intense headaches and was warned by his doctor that returning too early could be fatal. Speaking shortly afterwards, Čech’s father claimed his son would be out of football for a year.
Chelsea manager José Mourinho blamed Hunt for Čech's injury, saying: "The challenge was a disgrace. He is lucky to still be alive." It later emerged that because Čech is a triplet his skull is weaker than that of the average person. Following hospital treatment, Čech returned home on 24 October 2006 and in the following week he came back to a period of light training. However, Chelsea announced that the goalkeeper would be out for three months, in line with medical advice on the time needed for complete recovery from the skull fracture. In an interview on Chelsea TV, Čech said that he had no memory of the injury itself.
Čech made his comeback against Liverpool on 20 January 2007, which they eventually lost 2–0, wearing a rugby style headguard, which he continued to wear in every game. The headguard was made by Canterbury of New Zealand, a company that specializes in protective rugby gear, and includes extra plastic polymer foam protection to cover the areas of his skull weakened by the collision. Čech’s use of the scrum cap caused initial friction with Chelsea’s apparel manufacturer Adidas, who were not pleased by a Chelsea player apparently advertising for another company, but the controversy quickly blew over when the competitor's logo was removed. In spite of the considerable time lapsed since the injury, Čech has continued to wear the scrum cap owing to the weaker than normal bone structure in his skull.
Although Chelsea lost Čech's comeback match 2–0, he then went approximately 810 minutes of Premiership play without conceding a goal. On 11 April 2007, Čech was awarded the FA Premier League Player of the Month award for the first time in his career in recognition of the eight successive league clean sheets he had kept. He also was the first goalkeeper to receive the award since Tim Flowers in 2000. This run was ended during a 4-1 Chelsea victory over West Ham United on 18 April 2007 when Carlos Tévez scored against him.
Čech also kept a clean sheet for Chelsea in the 2007 FA Cup Final against Manchester United. He shared with United’s Edwin van der Sar the honour of being the first goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet over 90 minutes in a competitive fixture, but became the first goalkeeper to end a competitive game unbeaten, at the new Wembley Stadium, as Chelsea beat United 1–0 to win the FA Cup.
Čech started off the 2008-09 season in stunning form, with Chelsea conceding only seven goals in 17 games, keeping 11 clean sheets; ten of which with Čech in goal. In November 2008, Chelsea beat Sunderland 5–0 at Stamford Bridge, a result that gave Čech a century of Chelsea clean sheets. Čech kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Juventus in the Champions League on his 200th appearance for the club, and he also starred in a crucial 1-0 victory away at Villa Park against Aston Villa, making good saves from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Gareth Barry to send Chelsea third in the Premier League. The following week, Čech helped Chelsea go second in the table after his side beat Wigan at Stamford Bridge 2-1, with Čech saving from Paul Scharner in the first half. Successive clean sheets by Čech in Chelsea's wins against Portsmouth and Coventry saw his side consolidate their position in the Premier League whilst progressing into the FA Cup semi-finals. Čech also made crucial saves from Dirk Kuyt and Xabi Alonso as Chelsea beat Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
In a crucial Premier League game in April 2009, with Chelsea seemingly cruising against Bolton Wanderers 4-0, manager Guus Hiddink took off both Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard only for Bolton to score three late goals which raised questions in the media about the Chelsea defence, and in particular Čech. However Čech responded when he saved a penalty from Mark Noble in Chelsea's 1-0 win at the Boleyn Ground against West Ham. He also kept a clean sheet in the next game against Barcelona during the Champions League semi-final first leg match. Following a 3-2 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Čech and Chelsea finished the season with the joint-tightest defence in the Premier League along with Manchester United; conceding just 24 goals over the course of the season. Despite conceding the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history, Čech helped Chelsea's 2009 FA Cup Final triumph over Everton. Chelsea won 2-1, earning the Czech his seventh trophy at the club.
At the end of the season, former coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who had been sacked earlier in the season, accused Čech, Michael Ballack and Drogba of causing his sacking, saying that they "did not accept my training methods or my demands". Scolari also claimed that it stemmed from a row between him and the Czech goalkeeper over the choice of goalkeeper coach. The latter denied the claims saying that he was "disappointed with [Scolari] because never in my life have I had a personal goalkeeping coach".
Čech began the 2009-10 season in winning form with Chelsea, beating Manchester United in the Community Shield at Wembley. With the game tied at 2-2 at the end of normal time, Čech saved penalties from Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra. Čech kept goal for Chelsea in the six match winning run that opened their season and placed them on top of the Premier League. However, on 26 September 2009, Čech was sent off and at the same time conceded the winning penalty for tripping Wigan Athletic forward Hugo Rodallega, in a defeat that broke the run and conceded the lead in the league to Manchester United. On 13 April against Bolton, Čech kept his 100th Premier League clean sheet for Chelsea, and would keep clean sheets in four out of the last five games to win the Golden Gloves and seal a League & FA Cup Double for the first time in Chelsea's history.
Čech missed the build-up to the 2010-11 season, having suffered a recurrence of a calf injury he had suffered the previous season against Internazionale. Having missed Chelsea's pre-season, including the Community Shield loss to Manchester United, he was fit in time for the opening Premier League match of the season, keeping a clean sheet in a 6-0 win against West Bromwich Albion. With the Blues having started the season in fine form, Čech nonetheless put in impressive performances when needed, including a fine display in a 2-0 win against Arsenal. Chelsea's form declined dramatically during the middle of the season however, though the Czech goalkeeper was often the standout perfomer among a side playing well below the level at which they had started the season. Čech made an important contribution against Fulham in mid-February, saving an injury time penalty to keep the score at 0-0 and secure a point for his side, before making his 300th appearance for the Blues against Blackpool in March. At the end of the season Čech was voted Player of the Year by Chelsea supporters; the first time he had received the award. He became the fifth goalkeeper to win the award, after Peter Bonetti, Petar Borota, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Carlo Cudicini.
Čech started the opening match of the 2011-12 season, but suffered a knee injury in training that kept him out for the following two matches. He returned three weeks later to face Sunderland, and went on to have one of his most impressive seasons at Chelsea, in what was a challenging yet highly successful season for the Blues. The Czech international's displays resulted in him being awarded the 2011 Czech Footballer of the Year award in February, the fifth time he had won the award.away win against Benfica, Čech admitted that it has been a "strange season", with Roberto Di Matteo having replaced André Villas-Boas earlier in the month, but was pleased to still have the opportunity to win two trophies, with the Blues still in the running for the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.  In the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur Čech was perhaps fortunate to remain on the field when, with Chelsea 2-0 up, he brought down Emmanuel Adebayor in the area, but with Gareth Bale scoring immediately no action was taken. The Blues went on to win 5-1 to reach the final for the fourth time in six years. In the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona Čech was in fine form, making many crucial saves in both legs of a remarkable tie, playing a key role as Chelsea reached Europe's showpiece final for the second time. FA Cup Final – earning his fourth winners medal – Čech delivered another outstanding performance in the Champions League Final against Bayern Munich, on the eve of his 30th birthday. Čech may have been disappointed to have allowed Thomas Müller's close-range, downward header past him as the Bavarian side went 1-0 up with just seven minutes left, but after Didier Drogba's equaliser had sent the match into extra time Čech saved a penalty from former team-mate Arjen Robben, before helping Chelsea to victory in a penalty shoot-out. Diving the right way for every penalty, the Czech international saved from Ivica Olić, before appearing to get a slight touch on Bastian Schweinsteiger's effort as it struck the inside of the post and bounced out, allowing Drogba to secure Chelsea's maiden Champions League triumph. Shortly after the end of the season Čech signed a four year extension to his existing deal, keeping him at the club until 2016. 
Čech began his career in the U15s, working his way up each age group level before making his senior debut in February 2002. He first came to prominence as a twenty-year-old at the 2002 U-21 European Championships when his penalty shoot-out heroics in the final against France earned the Czech Republic their first title at youth level. He was part of the Czech Euro 2004 team. Some stunning saves helped his team progress as far as the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual winners Greece on the silver goal rule. He was named in the all-star team as best goalkeeper at the tournament.
The Czech Republic qualified for the 2006 World Cup, held in Germany, and were placed in Group E, alongside Ghana, Italy and the United States. The Czech Republic was placed third by the end of the group stages, and with one win against the United States, winning by 3-0, and two losses against Ghana and Italy, the score 2-0 in both games, the Czech Republic did not advance to the second round.
On 17 October 2007, Čech was captain of the Czech Republic team for their Euro 2008 Group D qualifier against Germany. He kept a clean sheet and the Czechs defeated Germany 3-0 away to book their place for the finals in Austria and Switzerland. In the last group game of the final tournament, Čech was beaten three times in the final 15 minutes as Turkey overcame a two-goal deficit to knock the Czechs out. Čech had a cross slip through his hands, allowing Nihat to score the second (and equalizing) goal.
After the blunder against Turkey, he took full responsibility for his team's exit from the UEFA Euro 2008 and actually considered retiring but then he was talked out of it and he stated that he wants to keep representing the Czech Republic "for many years to come" and also stated that he wants to repay his mistake and confidence that all the Czech Republic's players have in him. As of summer 2010 Čech had 70 caps for his country.
|Season||Prem||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
- Premier League: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2014-15
- FA Cup: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012
- League Cup: 2005, 2007, 2015
- UEFA Champions League: 2012
- UEFA Europa League: 2013
- Community Shield: 2005, 2009
|1 Begović • 2 Ivanović • 3 Alonso • 4 Fàbregas • 5 Zouma • 7 Kanté • 10 Hazard|
11 Pedro • 12 Mikel • 13 Courtois • 14 Loftus-Cheek • 15 Moses • 16 Kenedy • 19 Diego Costa • 21 Matić • 22 Willian
23 Batshuayi • 24 Cahill • 26 Terry (c) • 28 Azpilicueta • 29 N. Chalobah • 30 David Luiz • 34 Aina
Manager: Antonio Conte
|Player of the Year|
|1967: Bonetti | 1968: Cooke | 1969: Webb | 1970: Hollins | 1971: Hollins | 1972: Webb | 1973: Osgood | 1974: Locke|
1975: Cooke | 1976: Wilkins | 1977: Wilkins | 1978: Droy | 1979: Langley | 1980: Walker | 1981: Borota | 1982: Fillery
1983: Jones | 1984: Nevin | 1985: Speedie | 1986: Niedzwiecki | 1987: Nevin | 1988: Dorigo | 1989: Roberts
1990: Monkou | 1991: Townsend | 1992: Elliott | 1993: Sinclair | 1994: Clarke | 1995: Johnsen | 1996: Gullit
1997: Hughes | 1998: Wise | 1999: Zola | 2000: Wise | 2001: Terry | 2002: Cudicini | 2003: Zola | 2004: Lampard
2005: Lampard | 2006: Terry | 2007: Essien | 2008: J.Cole | 2009: Lampard | 2010: Drogba | 2011: Čech | 2012: Mata
2013: Mata | 2014: Hazard