Where does Petr Cech rank amongst all-time Premier League goalkeepers?

Where does Petr Cech rank amongst all-time Premier League goalkeepers?

Petr Cech’s long and successful career is coming to an end with the Arsenal stopper today announcing the date of his retirement.

The former Chelsea goalkeeper will hang up his boots at the end of the season, confirming today via his Twitter account that this will be his final season in the game.

Posting on social media, Petr Cech said: "Having played 15 years in the Premier League and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve," said the ex-Czech Republic international.

"I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season.

"This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire.

"I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch."

Cech has enjoyed a sensational 15 years in the Premier League since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2004, but is he the best of the Premier League career?

Here we assess his career so far and whether he will be remembered as the best of his era.

Petr Cech's wonderful career

There aren’t many goalkeepers who have managed to be as consistent as Petr Cech across a 20-season career. When he arrived in 2004 at Chelsea from Rennes for £7 million, few knew much about him.

However, that would quickly change when he helped Chelsea to back-to-back titles in his first two season with the club.

The winning didn’t stop there. During his 11 years with the Blues, making 333 league appearances, he won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, a Champions League title and a Europa League title.

The Champions League was, perhaps, the most iconic moment of his career. He denied Arjen Robben from the spot in extra time of the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich. He also saved a penalty during the shoot-out to help Chelsea on their way to a historic first Champions League title.

His Blues career personified the rise of Chelsea Football Club and he will remain a legend of the club for years to come. And not just for what he won. His attitude towards the game and his quality between the sticks has been seldom matched.

His career didn’t end there, either. He went on to join Arsenal in 2015, making 110 league appearances so far. During his time with the Gunners he has also won the FA Cup again, as well as lifting two Community Shields.

Petr Cech John Terry

His famous scrum cap

Every iconic player needs a trademark, an image of sorts, and Petr Cech certainly has his, though he certainly would have liked to have done without it.

Petr Cech isn’t seen on a football pitch without his famous scrum cap, even EA Sports comedically forgot that he actually takes it off, leaving it on his character during contract negotiations in the computer game FIFA 19.

It’s an iconic part of Petr Cech, but it was born out of almost devastating circumstances. During Chelsea’s clash with Reading at the Madejski Stadium on October 14th, 2006, Stephen Hunt clashed with Cech’s head in a challenge.

Cech required surgery on a depressed skull fracture following the incident and he wouldn’t leave the hospital for 10 days.

It was later revealed that the incident nearly cost Petr Cech his life, and that made his comeback just months later on January 20th, 2007 all the sweeter.

He returned with a scrum cap to protect his head and it never left. As we all know, to this day, Cech still wears the cap, perhaps partly out of superstition, but largely due to fear of a similar injury happening again.

Of course, we all wish that injury hadn’t happened to Petr Cech, particularly as it could have been so much worse, but now it seems like it wouldn’t be Petr Cech without his famous headgear.

Petr Cech

The best of the Premier League era?

Yes. What an unbelievable career Petr Cech has enjoyed. He’s lifted 18 trophies during his time in the Premier League, including four league titles and both major European honours, guiding Chelsea to the first in their history.

He has played in the Premier League for 15 years, remaining in the top five across two clubs for the duration of that time, also bouncing back from adversity in an almost fatal injury to remain at the very top.

Peter Schmeichel is one people also float as a rival, but Schmeichel only lifted 16 titles, despite winning one more league title. He also only remained at the very top with Manchester United for eight years, one of which wasn’t in the Premier League era. He would go on to play for Aston Villa and a then very different Manchester City.

Edwin van der Sar is another worth considering. He enjoyed six years with Manchester United after four years with Fulham.

During that time, he won four league titles, also winning a Champions League and racking up 11 honours in all. Van der Sar probably pushes Petr Cech closer than anyone else, however, he just wasn’t at the top for long enough.

Nobody has remained at the top of the Premier League for as long as Cech has, and nobody has racked up the same amount of honours.

Petr Cech Didier Drogba

On top of that, you also have to factor that Cech didn’t sig for a club with a rich history, a habit of winning trophies.

Chelsea were young in that respect, and he helped the club go from strength-to-strength, winning trophies they hadn’t before. He was part of a select group to win Chelsea’s first Premier League, Champions League and Europa League titles.

That will take some beating, and that’s one of the many reasons why Petr Cech should be remembered as the best goalkeeper in the Premier League era.

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