Petr Cech says he has learned from some of the world’s greatest goalkeepers.
The Czech Republic international has been playing first-team football since he was 17 years old and has won every major trophy in England, as well as the Champions League.
Now 33, Cech is inspiring a new generation of goalkeepers, but he admits he did not just have one role model when he was growing up.
"I tried to pick up the pieces and complete the puzzle using all of their best attributes"
“When I was a kid I looked up to every goalkeeper and tried to learn from all of them,” he told the Final Whistle. “I tried to pick up the pieces and complete the puzzle using all of their best attributes.
“If you look at Oliver Kahn you would see his character and aggression, he was living the game, and then you look at Peter Schmeichel’s presence and his key saves. Edwin van der Sar was fantastic at Ajax and then he did well in England.
“Gianluigi Buffon started playing when he was very young so I thought, ‘Wow, if he can play aged 18, why can’t I play aged 18?’. These are things you pick up and you try to take the best of everyone for yourself and work on things you can improve.”
Cech is just one clean sheet short of breaking David James’ Premier League record, but the goalkeeper says helping Arsenal win trophies is more important to him than individual accolades.
“If we drew 0-0 then I would’ve had the clean-sheet record but we would’ve only had one point, and this is not what it’s about,” he said. “The clean-sheet record is about winning three points and, if we win every game 2-1 from now on, we win the title.
“I would rather the title than the clean-sheet record. It’s a great personal achievement to have equalled the record but I hope the record comes with three points and a win because that is what’s most important.“
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.