Chelsea legend Petr Cech played his last professional game during Arsenal’s 4-1 demolition against his old club during the Europa League final. It would have been a bittersweet moment for the 36-year-old. He would have wanted to have ended his time with the Gunners by helping them win something following years of under-achievement but at the same time, he would have been happy to see his old club with whom he spent more than a decade win something, especially as it was his old pal Eden Hazard’s farewell match.
Many goalkeepers play well into their forties and Cech could have carried on playing for a few more seasons. While not the Cech of old, he could have still been an ideal back-up goalkeeper for most elite clubs. He could have also been a first-team regular for a lot of mid-table clubs across Europe’s top five Leagues or could have chosen to play in the financially lucrative regions of the United States and China.
He however did the correct thing by stepping aside at this point in time and it is a move which could help to protect his legacy going forward. Had he carried on at Arsenal, he would have most likely continue to serve as cover for Bernd Leno going forward and serving as a back-up keeper is not something which Cech is noted for doing.
He will now be able to focus on the next aspect of his life at a relatively young age. If he decides to go into football management, he could have a head-start ahead of many of his contemporaries who usually kick-start their managerial careers into their forties.
Cech has a very intelligent footballing brain and it is very difficult to see him not succeeding in whatever avenue he chooses to venture off into next.