Čech warming up with Chelsea
|Full name||Petr Čech|
|Date of birth||20 May 1982|
|Place of birth||Plzeň, Czechoslovakia|
|Height||1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)|
|1997–1998||Czech Republic U15||3||(0)|
|1998–1999||Czech Republic U16||15||(0)|
|1999||Czech Republic U17||3||(0)|
|1999–2000||Czech Republic U18||13||(0)|
|2000–2001||Czech Republic U20||7||(0)|
|2001–2002||Czech Republic U21||15||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 05:57, 20 May 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Petr Čech (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpɛtr̩ ˈtʃɛx] ( listen); born 20 May 1982) is a Czech footballer, who plays for Chelsea and the Czech Republic as a goalkeeper. Čech previously played for Chmel Blšany, Sparta Prague, and Rennes. He was voted into the all-star team of Euro 2004 after helping his country reach the semi-finals. Čech also received the individual award of Best Goalkeeper in the 2004–05, 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons of the UEFA Champions League. In addition, he was named in the FIFPro and UEFA Champions League teams of the season in 2006.
Čech holds a number of goalkeeping records, including the Premier League record for fewest appearances required to reach 100 clean sheets, having done so in 180 league appearances. He also holds a Czech professional league record of not conceding a goal in 903 competitive minutes. In addition, he has a club record at his former club Sparta Prague, having gone 928 minutes unbeaten in all competitions in 2001–02, when his unbeaten run in Czech league competition was combined with his performances in the UEFA Champions League. During the 2004–05 season, Čech went 1,025 minutes without conceding a goal – a Premier League record, until it was surpassed by Edwin van der Sar of Manchester United on 27 January 2009. Čech also won the Golden Glove in both the 2004–05 and 2009–10 seasons. As of 5 May 2013, Čech has kept 142 clean sheets for Chelsea in the Premier League.
Club career 
Early career 
Born in Plzeň, Czechoslovakia, Čech started playing football aged seven for Škoda Plzeň (later known as FC Viktoria Plzeň). In his early days, he played as a striker, although he later moved to the goalkeeper position. Čech joined Gambrinus liga team FK Chmel Blšany in June 1999 and made his league debut at the age of 17 in October 1999, in a 3–1 loss against Sparta.
In November 2001, Čech broke the record formerly held by Theodor Reimann for the longest time elapsed without conceding a goal in the Czech professional league, stretching his run to 855 minutes. His clean sheet record finally ended when he was beaten by a goal from Marcel Melecký of Bohemians on 17 November 2001, ending his record at 903 consecutive minutes without conceding.
Despite Čech not winning the league title in the spring of 2002 with Sparta Prague, he attracted interest from English clubs including Arsenal due to his international performances. However, due to difficulties in obtaining a work permit, the proposed deal fell through.
In his two seasons in France, Čech became accustomed to the pressure exerted on foreign players, especially goalkeepers. During his first season in France, he was awarded man of the match against Paris Saint-Germain by L'Équipe. In May 2003, Rennes were at the bottom of the league table and needed a win in the last game on the season to ensure survival. Rennes escaped relegation in the last round with a win over Montpellier.
Čech had a trial with Chelsea in 2003. It was Claudio Ranieri, then manager of Chelsea, who decided that Čech was his choice as understudy to Carlo Cudicini. After the original bid was rejected, Rennes accepted a second in February. Čech agreed to a summer move to Chelsea for £7 million, signing a five-year contract, to commence in July 2004. This transfer meant that he became the most expensive Chelsea goalkeeper in history. Čech’s transfer from Rennes was identified as "suspect" during the Stevens inquiry report, published in June 2007, due to the lack of co-operation from agents Pini Zahavi and Barry Silkman.
2004–05 season 
When Čech arrived at Chelsea, Carlo Cudicini was established as Chelsea's first choice goalkeeper. However, Cudicini suffered a pre-season elbow injury that allowed Mourinho to promote Čech into the starting spot. Čech became the first-choice goalkeeper in his first season. He kept a clean sheet in his Premier League debut in a 1–0 victory over Manchester United.
On 5 March 2005, Čech set a new Premier League record of 1,025 minutes without letting in a goal. This record has since been broken by Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar. He finally conceded to Leon McKenzie of Norwich City, after keeping a clean sheet in the league since 12 December 2004 when Thierry Henry scored for Arsenal. Čech was given a special award by the Premier League for the new record, and he was also awarded the Golden Glove at the end of the 2004–05 season for keeping a record 21 clean sheets in the Premier League. The team, having conceded only 15 league goals in the entire season, also set a new record.
2005–06 season 
Chelsea retained the Premier League title in the 2005–06 season, with Čech playing in 34 league matches. Chelsea conceded just 22 times during the League season. In January 2006, he was named the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper for 2005.
Čech signed a two-year contract extension in February 2006, keeping him at the club until 2010. Čech finished the month of February by being named the Czech Footballer of the Year for the first time.
2006–07 season 
Head injury 
On 14 October 2006, Čech and Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt both challenged for the ball inside Chelsea's penalty area within the first minute of a league match at the Madejski Stadium. Hunt's right knee hit Čech's head, leaving the keeper requiring treatment. Čech was taken off after several minutes and replaced by Carlo Cudicini, who himself was knocked unconscious later in the same game. Captain John Terry ended up going in goal for the remaining minutes. Čech underwent surgery for a depressed skull fracture. Initially unaware of the seriousness of the injury, the doctors later reported that it nearly cost Čech his life, and as a result of the collision, he suffered intense headaches and was warned by his doctor that returning too early could be fatal. Speaking shortly afterwards, Čech’s father claimed his son would be out of football for a year.
Chelsea manager José Mourinho blamed Hunt for Čech's injury, saying:
"The challenge was a disgrace. He is lucky to still be alive."
He also criticised the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust and match referee Mike Riley. A number of commentators, including current and former goalkeepers, saw the incident as highlighting the need for greater protection for keepers.
Following hospital treatment, Čech returned home on 24 October 2006 and in the following week he came back to a period of light training. However, Chelsea announced that the goalkeeper would be out for three months, in line with medical advice on the time needed for complete recovery from the skull fracture. In an interview on Chelsea TV, Čech said that he had no memory of the injury itself.
Čech made his comeback in a Premier League match against Liverpool on 20 January 2007, which Chelsea eventually lost 2–0, wearing a rugby style headguard. The head guard was made by Canterbury of New Zealand, a company that specialises in protective rugby gear, and includes extra plastic polymer foam protection to cover the areas of his skull weakened by the collision. Čech's scrum cap sported a Canterbury logo, which caused friction with Czech national team sponsor Puma and Chelsea's apparel manufacturer Adidas, who saw the Canterbury logo as an advertisement for another company. A solution was reached when Adidas developed their own headgear for Čech to wear in club matches, while the player went on to wear an unbranded cap for national team games.
Since the injury, Čech has continued to wear the scrum cap owing to the weaker than normal bone structure in his skull.
Although Chelsea lost Čech's comeback match 2–0, he then went approximately 810 minutes of Premier League play without conceding a goal. On 11 April 2007, Čech was awarded the Premier League Player of the Month award for the first time in his career in recognition of the eight successive league clean sheets he had kept. He also was the first goalkeeper to receive the award since Tim Flowers in 2000. This run was ended during a 4–1 Chelsea victory over West Ham United on 18 April 2007 when Carlos Tévez scored against him.
Čech also kept a clean sheet for Chelsea in the 2007 FA Cup Final against Manchester United. He and United's Edwin van der Sar shared the honour of being the first goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet over 90 minutes in a competitive fixture, but Čech became the first goalkeeper to end a competitive game unbeaten, at the new Wembley Stadium, as Chelsea beat United 1–0 to win the FA Cup.
2007–08 season 
Čech started the 2007–08 season conceding two goals against Birmingham City in the first match of the season. Despite this, Chelsea managed to win 3–2 and set an English record for their 64th consecutive unbeaten league match at home.
In November 2007, Čech suffered an injury to his right calf muscle in the 0–0 Champions League Match at Schalke 04. The following month, on 23 December 2007, he had to be replaced during a match against Blackburn Rovers, due to a hip injury.
Chelsea suffered their first major blow when they lost the League Cup Final to Tottenham Hotspur, with Čech parrying the ball onto Jonathan Woodgate's head for the winner. He played in several games until the eve of Chelsea’s home Champions League tie with Greek champions Olympiacos when he injured his ankle in training. In the weeks that followed, Čech missed key games of Chelsea's campaign including the derby with Arsenal and both legs of the Champions League quarter-final.
On 7 April 2008 it was announced that Čech had undergone emergency surgery on his chin and lips following an accidental collision with Tal Ben Haim during training. He had 50 stitches put on his mouth and chin, having missed 22 games this season due to injuries, Čech said he hoped to get back on the field within a few weeks. He returned to action on 14 April, in a home match against Wigan, which Chelsea drew 1–1. He appeared in the Champions League Final against Manchester United, where Chelsea lost on penalties.
2008–09 season 
Čech signed a new five-year contract in July 2008, to keep him at Chelsea until 2013. Chelsea started the 2008–09 season in good form, conceding only seven goals in 17 games and keeping 11 clean sheets, ten of which with Čech in goal.
In November 2008, Chelsea beat Sunderland 5–0 at Stamford Bridge, a result that gave Čech a century of Chelsea clean sheets. Čech kept a clean sheet in a 1–0 victory over Juventus in the Champions League on his 200th appearance for the club, and he also starred in a 1–0 away victory at the Villa Park against Aston Villa, saving from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Gareth Barry. The following week, Čech helped Chelsea go second in the table after his side beat Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge 2–1, with Čech saving from Paul Scharner in the first half. Successive clean sheets by Čech in Chelsea's wins against Portsmouth and Coventry City saw his side consolidate their position in the Premier League whilst progressing into the FA Cup semi-finals. Čech also made saves from Dirk Kuyt and Xabi Alonso as Chelsea beat Liverpool 3–1 at Anfield in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-finals.
In a crucial Premier League game in April 2009, with Chelsea comfortably leading 4–0 against Bolton Wanderers, manager Guus Hiddink took off both Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard only for Bolton to score three late goals which questioned the Chelsea defence, and in particular Čech. However Čech responded when he saved a penalty from Mark Noble in Chelsea's 1–0 win at the Boleyn Ground against West Ham United. He also kept a clean sheet in the next game against Barcelona during the Champions League semifinal first leg match. Following a 3–2 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Čech and Chelsea finished the season with the joint-tightest defence in the Premier League along with Manchester United, having conceded just 24 goals over the course of the season. Despite conceding the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history, Čech helped Chelsea's 2009 FA Cup Final triumph over Everton. Chelsea won 2–1, earning the Czech his seventh trophy at the club.
Former coach Luiz Felipe Scolari accused Čech, Michael Ballack and Drogba of causing his sacking, saying that they "did not accept my training methods or my demands". Scolari also claimed that it stemmed from a row between him and the Czech goalkeeper over the latter's alleged insistence on being given a personal coach. Čech denied the claims saying that he was "disappointed with [Scolari] because never in my life have I had a personal goalkeeping coach".
2009–10 season 
Čech began the 2009–10 season in winning form with Chelsea, beating Manchester United in the Community Shield final at Wembley. With the game level at 2–2 at the end of normal time, Čech saved penalties from Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra. Čech kept goal for Chelsea in the six match winning run that opened their season and placed them on top of the Premier League. However, on 26 September 2009, Čech was sent off and at the same time conceded the winning penalty for tripping Wigan Athletic forward Hugo Rodallega, in the defeat that broke the run and conceded the lead in the league to Manchester United. On 27 February 2010, Čech picked up an injury to a calf muscle in the Champions League clash against Inter. On 13 April against Bolton, Čech kept his 100th Premier League clean sheet for Chelsea. He won his second Golden Glove award for the season, having kept 17 clean sheets in the Premier League. He concluded his season by saving a penalty against Portsmouth in the FA Cup final, ensuring that the Blues went on to retain the Cup and achieve their first domestic double.
2010–11 season 
Čech suffered a calf injury in Chelsea's pre-season, a recurrence of an injury suffered against Inter Milan the previous season. A spokesman for Chelsea confirmed: "Petr will be out for around a month after scans showed a tear in his right calf. He is expected to miss the rest of the pre-season campaign." Čech subsequently missed the following three weeks, including Chelsea's 3–1 loss to Manchester United in the Community Shield. He returned on 14 August and kept a clean sheet as Chelsea beat West Bromwich Albion 6–0. Čech then kept another clean sheet in a 2–0 win over Arsenal, before keeping a clean sheet in a 0–0 draw at Villa Park. On 7 March Čech made his 300th Chelsea appearance, against Premier League side Blackpool, which Chelsea went on to win 3–1. On 19 May Čech was awarded the Chelsea Player of the Year for the first time. More than 28,000 fans voted for the award, which was handed over by manager Carlo Ancelotti.
2011–12 season 
Čech started the opening game of Chelsea's 2011–12 Premier League season away to Stoke City, which ended 0–0. On 18 August 2011 Čech was ruled out for up to four weeks after he sustained a knee injury in training. He made his return 3 weeks later against Sunderland in which Chelsea won 2–1. He kept a clean sheet in Chelsea's first Champions League match of the season in a 2–0 win over Bayer Leverkusen. On 27 February Čech was announced as the Czech Footballer of the Year for 2011, winning the award for the fifth time. On 24 March, Čech played his 250th league game for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur in a 0–0 draw at Stamford Bridge. Čech lucky to escape a red card against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in the FA Cup Semi-Final which Chelsea won 5–1. Čech then 3 days later kept a clean sheet against Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League Semi-Final, making some fine saves to deny Barcelona their away goal. A week later Čech played an instrumental role in Chelsea's 2–2 draw at the Camp Nou, where Chelsea defended with 10 men for much of the game. Čech saved a penalty in extra time, and two penalties in the subsequent penalty shootout, of the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern Munich resulting in the first Champions League win for Chelsea. Čech was named the Fans' Man of the Match following his heroic performance in goal for The Blues. By winning the Champions League, Čech became just the fourth Czech to win the competition.
On 28 May, the goalkeeper signed a new four-year contract with Chelsea, keeping him with the club through the 2015–16 season.
2012–13 season 
Čech started in Chelsea's first match of the 2012–13 season, the 2012 Community Shield against Manchester City, but failed to keep a clean sheet as Chelsea went down 3–2 to goals from Yaya Touré, Carlos Tévez and Samir Nasri. He also featured in the last UEFA Super Cup to be played at Monaco's Stade Louis II, in which he conceded four goals as Chelsea lost 4–1 to the Europa League winners Atlético Madrid. In October 2012 Čech took the captain's armband as regular Chelsea captain John Terry was sidelined with a four-match ban. In May 2013 he won the UEFA Europa League when Chelsea defeated Benfica 2-1 in the final.
International career 
Čech first represented his country in November 1997 with the under-15 team, working his way up through different age groups before making his senior debut for the Czech Republic in February 2002. He first came to prominence as a twenty-year-old at the 2002 U-21 European Championships when his penalty shoot-out heroics in the final against France, letting in only one of the penalty kicks, earned the Czech Republic their first title at youth level.
After establishing himself as the senior team's first choice goalkeeper, Čech was selected in the Czech Republic's squad for UEFA Euro 2004. Čech's saves helped his team progress as far as the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual winners Greece on the silver goal rule. He was named in the all-star team as best goalkeeper at the tournament.
The Czech Republic qualified for the 2006 World Cup, held in Germany, and were placed in Group E, alongside Ghana, Italy and the United States. The Czech Republic finished third in their group, following a 3–0 win against the United States, and two losses against Ghana and Italy, the score 2–0 in both games, thus not qualifying for the knock-out stages of the tournament.
On 17 October 2007, Čech was captain of the Czech Republic team for their UEFA Euro 2008 Group D qualifier against Germany. He kept a clean sheet and the Czechs defeated Germany 3–0 away to book their place for the finals in Austria and Switzerland. In the last group game of the final tournament, Čech was beaten three times in the final 15 minutes as Turkey overcame a two-goal deficit to knock the Czechs out. Čech had a cross slip through his hands, allowing Nihat Kahveci to score Turkey's equalizing goal.
On 29 May 2012, Čech was named in the Czech Republic's squad for UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. In the Czech Republic's group match against Greece, a fumble from Čech allowed the Greeks a goal. However, the match finished 2–1 in the Czech Republic's favour. Čech deputised for the injured Tomáš Rosický as captain in the final group match against Poland, as the Czech Republic qualified for the quarter-final with a 1–0 win. Čech's captaincy continued in the quarter-final, as Portugal eliminated the Czechs through a 79th minute Cristiano Ronaldo goal.
Čech made his 100th appearance for the Czech Republic in March 2013.
Personal life 
Čech has two sisters, Markéta who is older, and Šárka who is the same age. He was born a triplet along with Šárka and a brother named Michal who died aged two after contracting an infection in hospital.
Čech married Martina Dolejšová (now Čechová) (b. 1982), also of Czech nationality, in June 2003. They have a daughter Adéla (b. 23 January 2008) and a son Damián (b. June 2009), both born in the Czech Republic.
Career statistics 
Club appearances 
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Czech Republic||League||Czech Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2001–02||Sparta Prague||Gambrinus liga||27||0||?||?||–||12||0||39||0|
|Sparta Prague Total||27||0||?||?||–||12||0||39||0|
|France||League||Coupe de France||Coupe de la Ligue||Europe||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
International career statistics 
|Czech Republic national team|
- FA Premier League (3): 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10
- FA Cup (4): 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12
- Football League Cup (2): 2004–05, 2006–07
- FA Community Shield (2): 2005, 2009
- UEFA Champions League (1): 2011–12
- UEFA Europa League (1): 2012–13
- FIFA Club World Cup Runner-up (1): 2012
- UEFA Super Cup Runner-up (1): 2012
- Czech Republic
- UEFA European Championship Third Place (1): 2004
- UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship (1): 2002
- UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Golden player: 2002
- Best Goalkeeper of French League: 2003–04
- Barclays Golden Glove: 2004–05, 2009–10
- PFA Team of the Year: 2005
- Czech Footballer of the Year: 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- Golden Ball (Czech Republic): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
- UEFA Best European Goalkeeper: 2005, 2007
- IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper: 2005
- UEFA Club Football Awards Best Goalkeeper: 2005, 2007, 2008
- FA Premier League Player of the Month: March 2007
- Chelsea Player of the Year: 2011
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 113. ISBN 1-85291-665-6.
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- "Premier League table". BBC Sport. 24 May 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
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- "Keeper Cech ruled out for a month". BBC Sport. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
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- "Ivanovic rises high in injury time to seal dramatic Europa League success for Benitez's Blues". Daily Mail. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Čech sparks Czech party". uefa.com. 1 June 2002. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "Zagorakis named top player". BBC Sport. 5 July 2004. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
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- Daniel Pudil cut from Czech Republic squad for Euro 2012
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- Euro 2012 – Czech Republic eliminates co-host Poland
- Czech Rep. 0–1 Portugal
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- Petr Čech – FIFA competition record
- Petr Čech international stats at the Football Association of the Czech Republic website (Czech)
- Petr Čech at transfermarkt.de (English)
- Petr Čech career stats at Soccerbase
- Official website
- Petr Čech Club profile
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