Christmas has always been about family and tradition rather than presents for Petr Cech, so when he was younger he would only ask for two gifts.
The first of those was understandably a football, but the 34-year-old was also a keen ice hockey player in his youth and says he would spend the winter months playing with his friends at his local ice rink.
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“Every Christmas was the same because I wanted a ball and an ice hockey stick,” he told Arsenal.com. “The ice hockey stick never lasted a full year, so before Christmas you always needed a new one after your old one broke.
"You have fun with the family and kids and then make sure that you are ready to play"
“This was my thing. I never asked for anything else other than football… like clothes. I only ever wanted skates or football boots or balls or hockey sticks.
“Christmas as a footballer is different,” Petr added. “In the Czech Republic, because of the weather, you get a break so you have Christmas off and that’s the same in France too. It’s three weeks where you can enjoy Christmas in a normal way, but ever since I came to England, it all changed.
“You train on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day too. Obviously you also play on Boxing Day too and this year, for the first time, there isn’t a game on the 28th so it’s slightly different. You try to make your Christmas as normal as possible, have fun with the family and kids and then obviously make sure that you are ready to train and play.
“We have special cookies that we make every year ready for Christmas Day. We bake them prior to Christmas and it’s a nice thing for everyone to be involved in because we cut them into different shapes. This is what we all do together with the kids because it’s lots of fun.”
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