Benfica v Chelsea, Europa League Final: 'It's the same story – let's hope for the same end,' says Petr Cech ahead of Benfica clash

Chelsea looking to claim second European title in as many years

Almost one year on from that magical night in Munich, Petr Cech is hoping for a repeat in Amsterdam. The veteran goalkeeper was a hero in the Allianz Arena, saving one penalty in extra time and two in the shoot-out to make Chelsea European champions.

Cech said that was a "special" night and was particularly notable because it came just months after Chelsea changed their manager mid-season, replacing Andre Villas-Boas with Roberto Di Matteo. This season, Di Matteo was sacked and Rafael Benitez installed in November, and Cech hopes that Chelsea can triumph over adversity again.

 

Follow all the latest news on the match and keep up-to-date with developments in Amsterdam by clicking here

 

"It was a fantastic story and I think that is why it ended the way it ended," Cech remembered. "I think it was just meant to be. It was really an incredible story but I think winning back-to-back European trophies will be a great story too, in almost the same circumstances in having to change the manager in the course of the season again. Hopefully, it will be the same ending."

Cech's career has been very successful but last year's final was the peak of it. "So far it is a highlight of my career because it is a Champions League final," he said. "After all the success I have had with the club, it was special, having lost the final in 2008. Sometimes you don't get a second chance. We got a second chance and we grabbed it."

Against Bayern Munich last season, Cech saved from former team-mate Arjen Robben in extra time before stopping kicks from Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the shoot-out. He said he revels in the pressure of a shoot-out.

"It is a great challenge and you are in the centre of the challenge, because obviously you are in the goal and you face all the penalties," Cech said. "As a player it is a huge challenge for the one who takes the penalty and the goalkeeper, and I like situations like that. But hopefully we will avoid another drama!"

His opposite number for Bayern, Manuel Neuer, scored against Cech last year and the Chelsea goalkeeper would have no hesitation in taking a penalty if required tomorrow night.

"I would if one day the manager came to me and asked me to take one. You see in the history of the game how many great players have missed a penalty, if you want another one you can have another one. You are not in bad company."

Cech's medal cabinet is very well-stocked but he would love the chance to add something new.

"It is great to be involved in the final. It is the first time we have played in the competition, we have reached the final, played away, so it is a positive thing.

"The Europa League is a prestigious competition for many countries and many teams and this club has never won it because it is the first time we have played in the competition, so it would be great to add that trophy to Stamford Bridge."

But, given the choice, he would rather not be back again next year, instead preferring a return to the Champions League. "It is not something you say with a lack of respect, but I hope it is not going to happen."

 

Follow all the latest news on the match and keep up-to-date with developments in Amsterdam by clicking here

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us