The Blues goalkeeper spoke about his recollections going through the No 10 in a sequence of outstanding matches in Europe’s elite competitors
Between 2004 and 2012 the Blues confronted Barcelona 10 occasions, with the customarily counter-attacking Premier League facet contrasting with the ‘tika-taka’ possession soccer method of their La Liga rivals.
The 2 kinds led to gripping encounters and really shut matches within the knockout stage of Europe’s elite competitors. Cech, who was in objective for the Blues all through that interval, is now working as Chelsea’s technical and efficiency advisor alongside being an emergency goalkeeper in Frank Lampard’s squad.
He performed in every of the matches and had a outstanding file of by no means conceding to Messi. In the end, Messi scored previous Cech however when he was an Arsenal participant, and the keeper opened up about his makes an attempt to cease arguably the world’s best ever footballer.
“It took him a very long time to attain previous me – 10 video games in truth as I used to be an Arsenal participant when he ultimately did,” Cech advised Chelsea’s matchday programme forward of the Blues conflict with Rennes.
“He missed penalties, I made saves, he hit the put up, however he by no means scored previous me at Chelsea. It was a pleasure to maintain a clear sheet towards him. When he had the penalty within the Nou Camp in 2012, that was a defining second.
“I used to be fascinated about what he may do, what he would do. So my technique was to attend and wait till I may see the place he was going to hit it. So once I moved the best way he was going to strike the ball, he knew he needed to go excessive to beat me – however he went too excessive and it struck the bar.
“That recreation, basically, was enormous. Once you’re 2-0 down on the Nou Camp with 10 males and it’s nonetheless the primary half, you’re considering it’s going to be a protracted, lengthy night time. My mates who had been on the recreation stated after that they’d mentioned the one place they wouldn’t wish to be in on an evening like that and so they agreed it was the goalkeeper.
“It may’ve bought ugly as we’ve seen so usually for groups in these conditions on the Nou Camp towards Barcelona.”
Chelsea held on in 2012 as Messi missed his penalty and John Terry was despatched off, with Fernando Torres rounding off a semi-final win over Barcelona within the final minute to win the tie 3-2 on combination. In the end, the Blues would go onto beat Bayern Munich within the last on penalties.
Nonetheless, with the highs got here the lows for Chelsea towards the Catalan facet and Cech remembered how a 17-year-old Messi scared the life out of his facet in 2006.
“It was when Lionel Messi was saying himself,” he added. “He was solely 17 years outdated, however everybody may see what a expertise and a risk that he was. He bought Asier Del Horno despatched off in that recreation and it broken us quite a bit.
“You might see from that, added with the season earlier, it was a set of small moments constructing into an even bigger image and the rivalry saved rising. Issues intensified, particularly with Jose being a former Barcelona coach after which being our supervisor.
“These video games simply appeared to have every thing on and off the pitch. It escalated in 2009 once we had been knocked out of the semi-final by Barcelona at Stamford Bridge. We should always have had in all probability 5 penalties within the recreation and didn’t even get one earlier than Andres Iniesta scored his late objective. It was painful.
“It bought to the purpose that yearly when the Champions League draw was made, we knew that in some unspecified time in the future, we might play Barcelona. It appeared prefer it was yearly and due to that, it meant we constructed a rivalry between the golf equipment fairly fast.”