Petr Cech reveals how he reacted to Jose Mourinho decision which forced him to quit Chelsea

Jose Mourinho sanctioned Petr Cech's departure from Chelsea in the summer of 2015
Jose Mourinho sanctioned Petr Cech’s departure from Chelsea in the summer of 2015 (Picture: Getty)

Petr Cech knew the writing was on the wall and his Chelsea career was effectively over from the moment Jose Mourinho selected Thibaut Courtois to start in goal on the opening weekend of the 2014/15 Premier League season.

The Czech Republic international had been a pivotal figure during Mourinho’s trophy-laden first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge and maintained his status as the club’s undisputed No.1 under a succession of subsequent managers.

Cech was the penalty saving hero in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich but Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge coincided with Courtois’ two-year loan spell at Atletico Madrid ending.

The Belgium international, who had just helped the Spanish side to the league title, was given the nod for the opening game of Chelsea’s campaign against Burnley and never relinquished the No.1 shirt from then onwards.

Cech did win another Premier League winners’ medal and started in the Carabao Cup final win over Tottenham but was unwilling to settle for a position as Courtois’ understudy and moved to Arsenal in the summer of 2015.

Petr Cech retired at the end of last season following Arsenal's Europa League final defeat against Chelsea
Petr Cech retired at the end of last season following Arsenal’s Europa League final defeat against Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Recalling the end of his Chelsea career, he told the club’s official website: ‘I was not happy at all,’ he remembers. ‘I could see in pre-season how hard I was working. There was nothing obvious suggesting I wouldn’t be ready to keep my spot.

‘But in a football team you can only have one goalkeeper playing every week, and unfortunately that was the way it went. Thibaut was regarded as the future of the club with all his potential and quality. I understood the choice was made, even if I didn’t think it was my time.

‘Leaving Chelsea was the hardest decision I had to make,’ continues Cech. ‘Having played for this club for such a long time, and becoming a big part of the history of the club, I always thought I was going to finish my career at Chelsea, or maybe leave for the last couple of years.

‘At that moment I didn’t feel like it was like the last couple of years. That was not what I pictured in my head. But it was clear my journey had come to an end, and I decided I was going to go and try something else.’

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