Following Thibaut Courtois’ return from his loan spell at Atletico Madrid, Petr Cech became Chelsea’s second choice goalkeeper under Jose Mourinho.
After a season sitting on the bench, Cech left Chelsea for Arsenal but Mourinho and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich were reluctant to let him join our London rivals.
Cech has now revealed how he persuaded Abramovich to let him join Arsenal.
Cech recalls, according to Daily Mail: “I had a meeting at his house. We sat down, I expressed the reasons why. I was nervous — this was what I wanted to do and I didn’t have a plan B.
“He wasn’t too happy but he knew I had done everything for the club. It was his decision, so he closed his eyes and said, ‘OK, you can go’.
“Playing against Chelsea in the final looks a big possibility, with us in a good position and them having the second game at home.
“I don’t know if it’s a dream scenario. You have the last game of your career, a European final and then you have an emotional attachment to the opposition team, which probably is a bit too much. But if it happens, it happens.”
Cech also talked on how he adapted his game following his head injury in 2006 against Reading.
After a collision with Stephen Hunt there were fears Cech would never play again but he returned to the team three months later.
“I wouldn’t say it affected me much apart from the fact that I had to play with the helmet and I had to find a new way to look behind me,” said Cech.
“You don’t realise that you sense with all the sense on your skin, on your hair, and I have it covered now. So I had to learn how to scan more behind me because of the helmet.
“But I didn’t really think about it. I had an advantage because I was in a coma for three days, so I didn’t have a memory of those days.
“I don’t remember anything of the incident. When you’re in a car accident and you remember it, every time you’re in the car and you see something coming you might have that feeling of ‘What if the car suddenly turns?’ I don’t have that.”
Cech’s son Damian has just enrolled at the Blues’ academy as the Under 10s goalkeeper and fans will be hoping he turns out just as good as his father.