Arsenal FC‘s newest recruit – veteran goal-keeper Petr Cech – has shed some light on how he became a goal-keeper after having started out as a left winger in his younger days
The 33-year-old moved from Chelsea FC to rivals Arsenal FC earlier in the summer for a deal believed to be in the region of A?11 million. The two London clubs are set to meet on Sunday for their Community Shield clash, which will see Cech make his competitive debut for the Gunners against his former team.
Cech started playing football as a midfielder
Cech had started his career playing as a goalkeeper in the local ice hockey league and it was this experience which allowed him to try his hand at being the shot-stopper in football. The 33-year-old has started his footballing career as a midfielder or left winger, however, after sustaining an injury to his legs, he was forced to take up goalkeeping.
Speaking in an interview for the Arsenal magazine, the 33-year-old was quoted as saying:
a I never thought of being a goalkeeper. I was an ice hockey goalkeeper and when I started playing football, I was a midfielder or a left winger.
a Occasionally at the end of training sessions, when you had a free game with no a keeper, where the deepest player acted as a goalkeeper, sometimes I went into goal because I wanted to see the difference between a big goal and a small ice hockey goal.
a Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 1, 2015
a My coach saw me a few times and one day, our goalkeeper didna t come for a game. We had no a keeper and somebody had to play there, but nobody really wanted to. He pointed to me and said a Ia ve seen you a few times in goal and youa ve been doing quite well. You should try it.a
a I said I would do it for one match and we ended up having a very good game. The next day, when I came for the training session, the goalkeeping coach took me and said that I should stay with him.
a But then my coach didna t want to listen to that. For about a year, I was playing outfield or in goal depending on the opponents.
a Then when I was about 10 I broke my leg quite badly and the recovery took time. I couldna t run and I had pain for quite a long time.
a Being in goal means you can sit, you can lie, you can catch balls and you can still work and train. That made the biggest difference in my life because that moment defined that I stayed in goal.a
Cech has the opportunity to win his first title outside of Chelsea FC
Cech has so far won the Premier League on four occasions along with four FA Cups, three League Cups and one each of UEFA Europa League and the coveted UEFA Champions League during his time with Chelsea FC.
Going by the number of titles he has won as a goalkeeper, it is safe to say that the decision to switch from a midfielder to a goalkeeper was a wise one for the 33-year-old. Cech certainly looks hungry to add to his already incredible tally of medals, and Sunday presents him with the first opportunity to do so outside of Chelsea FC colours.