Petr Cech will bring down the curtain on a glittering acting career in odd circumstances since the Arsenal goalkeeper faces his former and possibly future companies Chelsea at the Europa League final on Wednesday.
Cech, 37, loved the best years of his career at Stamford Bridge, winning 13 prizes including four Premier League titles and the Champions League at 11 seasons with Chelsea before going throughout London to Arsenal at 2015.
And his close connection with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich seems set to see him go back to the Blues in the coming months as the club’s new sporting manager.
Cech dropped his standing as Arsenal’s number one throughout Unai Emery’s first year in charge, together with Bernd Leno taking over from the Premier League since September, but the Czech veteran has begun all Arsenal’s knockout games to hit the Europa League closing.
The achievement of Arsenal’s season is dependent not just on raising a primary European trophy for 25 decades in Baku, but also on ensuring Champions League qualification which will come together with success.
Emery therefore gets the tough decision on whether to provide Cech a fitting farewell, or create the chilly but calculated selection of enjoying with his first-choice’keeper at Leno.
“I will make a choice about my future following the previous match,” said Cech as information spread about his impending return to Chelsea. “My sole focus is to win the Europa League with Arsenal.”
Emery considers Cech has the expertise and professionalism to close out any distractions stemming from a possible return to his previous team.
“Talking about Petr Cech, we could be here 3 times and it’s all positive items,” said Emery.
“I just know him this season but he’s wonderful. Amazing just like a individual, amazing just like a goalkeeper. His past, his expertise, is wonderful.
“He’s here because he deserves to be here. He had been enjoying with the past games using a large functionality. I would like to enjoy this closing together and I’m a jobless coach to use him”
A man of many abilities, the Czech speaks five languages and also his love of the drums watched him launch a charity single before this month along with Queen drummer Roger Taylor.
But it had been on the area he really shone despite a dreadful head injury 2006 that fractured his skull and temporarily threatened his life.
After emergency surgery, Cech returned into the area only 3 months later but needed to match his currently trademark helmet to shield his skull out of additional harm for the remainder of his profession.
It didn’t hold him back since Cech established a trusted final line of defence in a decade where directors came and went in Stamford Bridge.
His crowning glory came rescuing penalties in extra-time as well as the shootout since Chelsea upset the possibility to eventually lift the Champions League at 2012, beating Bayern Munich in the final.
The Europa League followed a year afterwards, but Thibaut Courtois’s yield from a loan spell in Atletico Madrid watched Cech shed his position since Jose Mourinho’s number one.
Another player might have been made to look additional afield to get a new team, but Cech’s close connection with Abramovich watched the Russian billionaire clear the way for a move to Arsenal.
Cech hasn’t hit the very same peaks in the Emirates as in his first days in Chelsea but nevertheless proceeded to become the first goalkeeper to enroll 200 Premier League fresh sheets, representing his consistency over 15 years.
An additional chapter of a mythical career could nevertheless be composed in Baku until Cech hangs up his gloves.
“My final dream was to play with this particular European final with Arsenal and the previous step is to win it,” he advised BT Sport.