Interview

Petr Cech’s FA Cup final memories

On the weekend that would have been the FA Cup final had it not been for the lockdown, Chelsea’s most successful goalkeeper in the history of the competition has been recalling some moments from his participation in the showpiece, and his earlier days watching it.

Petr Cech was between the posts for four of the eight times we lifted the trophy and even won it against us when with Arsenal. Speaking today on the BBC, he was asked some FA Cup final questions, beginning with whether he watched it as a child growing up in the Czech city of Plzen…

‘We could not watch much of English football but the FA Cup final was one of the games which was always on,’ he replied. ‘If you had a big game from the Premier League then occasionally you would see that or some highlights, but the FA Cup final was one of the games that you would always be able to see, with all the magic of being played at Wembley and the atmosphere.

‘When I came over here and played my first FA Cup game I had these memories of seeing that on TV. As communism finished and we moved into democracy and we could watch football as everybody else could. But it always left a special mark on me so my first FA Cup game when I came to Chelsea, I was really looking forward to it and over the course of my career the FA Cup was one of my favourite competitions.’
 

Petr Cech on the first FA Cup final he can remember…

‘It was the Chelsea vs Middlesbrough game, when [Roberto] Di Matteo scored early, because it was one of those games when I was already 14 and you follow football in a slightly different way. That was one of those games that stuck in my head.’
 

Petr Cech on some other special FA Cup final memories…

‘Saving the penalty against Portsmouth [in 2010], when it was 0-0 and we had so many chances and had hit the woodwork something like four times, and we just could not break them down. Then they had a penalty in minute 60 and I saved it, we made a counter-attack and it led to a free-kick and we won the game with that from a shot from Didier [Drogba]. That is one of the good memories and it led to the club winning the historic Double.

‘Also winning the first one against Man United at the new Wembley was something to remember. We knew Chelsea was the last team to win the FA Cup at the old Wembley so we wanted to be the first winners at the new one as well, and we managed to do that and it was my first one so that was a special one.’
 

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