Petr Cech says playing football has taught him the importance of respecting his opponents.
The Czech Republic goalkeeper has been playing at the highest level for more than a decade, winning the Premier League and FA Cup on four occasions, as well as the Champions League in 2012.
Cech has had his fair share of battles with opposing strikers over the years but says that, even if the match gets heated, there is still a mutual respect between players at the final whistle.
“It’s a part of the game,” the 33-year-old told the Arsenal Weekly podcast. “For 90 or 95 minutes you are on the battlefield but then then the game finishes.
“Sometimes you enjoy the game more because it has these individual battles and individual challenges. Sometimes you think, ‘I love this part of the game because I was battling with the striker for every corner, every free-kick, pushing each other and trying to block each other’.
“When you finish the game you think, ‘Okay he gave me a hard time but I did well’ and then you’re happy with that. When you play the game for such a long time and you know the players you’re playing against, you know each other’s game better and you know them personally so sometimes you talk to them after. Not all the time, but sometimes.
“There are games where you speak to people. You have to respect your opponent and you have to respect the game. Everybody wants to win and it means everything to everyone. You play the game to win but on the other hand you have to respect your opponent and you have to respect the fact that sometimes the other team plays better than you and deserve to win more.
“You know they’ve spent as much time as you working hard and preparing to win, that they have given everything to that. Team sport not only teaches you the ability to work in a team, but also the ability to respect your opponent. This is a big part of sport.”
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