Football

Cech eyes success with Arsenal

Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech ended a highly successful 11-year spell with English champions Chelsea when he moved to Premier League rivals Arsenal yesterday.

Cech, who made over 400 appearances at Stamford Bridge and won the Champions League and four Premier League titles, joins Arsenal on a long-term contract for a fee British media reported to be worth around £11 million ($23.4m).

"I'm really excited about joining Arsenal and can't wait to join up for pre-season," Cech, 33, told the club's website.

"I have the same commitment to football, the same motivation and the same hunger for success as I had at the beginning of my career.

"When (Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger spoke to me about his ambitions for this club, and how he saw me as part of this team, the decision was clear."

One of Cech's first games for Arsenal will be against Chelsea at Wembley on Aug 2 in the traditional match between the FA Cup winners and Premier League champions.

Before that, his new club play in the four-team Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore next month and then host the Emirates Cup against Lyon, Villarreal and Wolfsburg.

Chelsea were reluctant to sell Cech but accepted he did not want to spend another campaign as deputy to Thibaut Courtois, who is 10 years younger.

Arsenal boss Wenger said: "Petr Cech is a player whom I have admired for a long time and I am very pleased that he has decided to join us."

- Reuters.

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