Champions League

Chelsea goalkeeper makes birhday wish

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech turns 30 on Sunday.
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There is only one thing Petr Cech wants for his birthday on Sunday, but there will not be any tantrums from the Chelsea goalkeeper if he fails to get it.

Cech turns 30 within hours of the final whistle of Saturday night's Champions League final and he admitted there would be no better gift than finally holding aloft the trophy that has eluded him for the last eight years.

"It'll be fantastic to have the 30th birthday on the day after I won the Champions League," Cech said. "If I get a cup, I don't need a cake."

The perfect early birthday present would be the ideal way to make up for Cech being denied the perfect late one in Chelsea's only previous Champions League final four years ago.

A day after Cech turned 26, the keeper suffered penalty-shootout heartache against Manchester United in Moscow.

But, while that defeat haunts many of his team-mates until this day, the Czech Republic star is made of sterner stuff.

"We had 120 minutes as well as the penalty shoot-out to win the cup," Cech said.

"Sitting in a corner and crying because I lost is not my style, because it's just the way it is and you can't change the history.

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"You can only change the future and the present, and the present now is that we are again in the final and we will have another go and I hope that this time it will finish in a completely different way."

Didier Drogba admitted this week he had assumed Chelsea would react to their 2008 agony by winning the Champions League the following year.

Cech was under no such illusions.

"We have been here eight years and it's going to be only the second Champions League final," he said.

"It's a long journey to the final in the Champions League.

"So it's not easy and sometimes just one unlucky game can change your whole season.

"This time, hopefully the unlucky game happened already."

That certainly could be said for Chelsea's Barclays Premier League campaign but they have enjoyed little but good fortune in Europe since caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo took charge.

"I think this season just proved that, in football, everything's possible," said Cech, reflecting on epic victories against Napoli and Barcelona.

"After the Napoli game away, I think everybody had written us off and here we are in the final."
 

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