Cech set to play for Czechs against Poland
The Czech Republic was given a confidence boost on Thursday
ahead of its decisive Group A match against Poland at the European
Championship when goalkeeper Petr Cech declared himself fit to
Cech said he is satisfied that his condition has improved for
Saturday’s game and ”I should be 100 percent fit for the match. My
availability is not threatened.”
Cech, who underwent light training at the team’s base in
Wroclaw, said he plans to resume full training on Friday. He picked
up the injury in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Greece in Group A.
”Tomorrow, I will train normally with no limitations, as I do
before any other match.”
A win for either team would qualify it for the quarterfinals,
and Cech’s return from injury would clearly improve his side’s
chances – despite a blunder against Greece.
”I’m really glad, everyone wants to play at the European
Championship, you don’t want to miss a single minute because every
minute is worth it,” he said.
Since his international debut more than 10 years ago as a
19-year-old, Cech has become as dominant for the national team as
he has been for Chelsea after joining the Premier League club in
His only black mark at the tournament so far was to spill the
ball and bump into defender Tomas Sivok, giving Greece substitute
Fanis Gekas an easy goal that brought his side back into the
Cech acknowledged after the game he was to blame, but insisted
on Thursday he had already put the episode behind him.
”I don’t think about it,” he said. ”I don’t care about it at
the moment. The match is over, we won and that’s what we needed. We
have to look to the future and that is Saturday.”
A rare mistake, but surprisingly not unseen in his international
Cech was blamed for the Czechs’ exit from Euro 2008 when they
squandered a two-goal lead over Turkey in their last group match by
conceding three goals in the final 15 minutes.
One of the world’s great goalkeepers fumbled a simple cross
three minutes before time, allowing Turkey to level for 2-2. Then
the Czechs collapsed and conceded another goal.
Cech acknowledged it was his mistake.
A commanding figure in the penalty area, Cech is also a
distinctive one with the protective headgear he has been wearing
since returning in 2007 from surgery on a fractured skull. Cech
sustained the injury after his head collided with the knee of
Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt the previous year during a Premier
Cech has said he will wear the headgear for the rest of his
career – an illustrious one that has been reaching new heights in
The keeper heads into tournament after first helping Chelsea
beat Liverpool in the FA Cup final and then performing heroics in
the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Cech saved penalties from Arjen Robben in regulation time and
Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the shootout which saw
Chelsea lift the trophy for the first time.
Now, he hopes for more success with the national team at Euro
”To imagine that we’d advance much farther in the tournament is
pretty attractive,” he said.