After completing a century of international appearances last night, Petr Cech has received tributes from those who see him day in, day out at the Chelsea training ground.
The Czech’s 100th cap came away to Armenia in last night’s World Cup qualifying win, and both goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon and Cech’s good friend Paulo Ferreira were delighted to see him reach the milestone.
‘It’s amazing, I am really pleased for him,’ Ferreira told the official Chelsea website. ‘He has had injuries that could have prevented him from playing more but he is amazing and he deserves this achievement. I think he has a few more years to play for his country also, so I am really happy for him to reach 100 caps.
‘He is a top professional. To play at such a high level for many years is not easy. As soon as he arrived at Chelsea the way he performed, improved and learned has been impressive. His concentration levels are amazing.
‘He hasn’t really talked about it, I wished him luck for the first game last week and of course I will congratulate him when I see him.’
Lollichon, who worked with Cech at Rennes before linking up once more at Stamford Bridge in 2007, praised the number one’s professionalism.
‘Petr is a fantastic man,’ he said. ‘He tries to do everything to maintain his performance, and he has all the qualities – mentally, tactically, physically. He is special, the complete goalkeeper.
‘For his country to have him is very lucky, but he has been unlucky that it has been difficult to win titles. Czech Republic is not a big country, but they had a very good generation a few years ago, and he won the European Under-21 Championship against France in 2002, because of his penalty saves.
‘To play 100 times is a fantastic achievement, but it is normal because Petr is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.’
Cech becomes the second Chelsea man in the last two months to reach the 100-cap mark, following England’s Ashley Cole, who reached the feat in February’s friendly win against Brazil at Wembley.