Cech – The five goalkeepers I rate most

Petr Cech and Iker Casillas
Petr Cech and Iker Casillas

When it comes to modern-day goalkeepers, Petr Cech has established himself as a true legend of the game.

The Premier League’s record clean-sheet holder has won the Golden Glove award four times since arriving in England back in 2004.

But which keepers does Cech look up to?

“I had a few inspirations in terms of goalkeeping and it was, let’s say the goalkeeping giants in the years I was growing up,” our goalkeeper told Arsenal Player. “I would start with Peter Schmeichel. He was always a huge influence the team, he made big saves and I think the way he played the game was ahead of his time. He was one one of my role models. I tried to think that if I could have the same influence on the team, it would be beneficial.

“Second was Edwin van der Sar. The moment Ajax started using him as an extra defender, I realised this was probably the future of the game. It made me think that I need to work on my feet and make sure that if I’m playing in a team that use me like that, I’d be able to cope with it. 

“I probably saw more Bayern Munich games at that time, because Germany borders the Czech Republic. The Bundesliga was probably the league I watched the most, so I saw a lot of Oliver Kahn, with his presence, his charisma and his concentration. You could see he was a fighter, someone who did everything for the team to win. You realise that you need people like that on the pitch to be successful. 

“The next one is Gianluigi Buffon. He was only 17 when I saw him playing with Parma against Sparta Prague. When you look at someone playing so well at the age of 17, you realise that it’s not always about experience and being a certain age. I think it showed to everyone that it’s more about being at the top of your performance and being ready. He gave me the motivation to work hard and get my chance, no matter how old I was. 

“To conclude that, the confirmation came straight away with Iker Casillas, who started playing for Real Madrid at the age of 17. He’s only one year older than me. I was 16 when he started playing for Real Madrid and there was a realisation that if this guy could play for a top Spanish team at that age, why couldn’t I do it with a Czech team?”

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