Chelsea goalman Petr Čech has his double celebrations from his team’s victory in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich and his thirtieth birthday spoiled by a post-match drugs test.
Čech, one of the heroes of the encounter after saving one penalty in extra time when the sides were level 1:1 and then going on to save two more in the deciding penalty shoot-out, missed out on the changing room celebrations with teammates as he tried in vain to provide the sample for the drug test.
“I don’t know what happened [in the changing rooms]. They called me for a drugs test, and it took a really long time before I was able to provide the required urine sample. I had been through two hours of stress and it didn’t come. I drank everything possible; Fernando Torres then brought me a beer, and we sat together for a bit,” the Czech national ‘keeper who celebrated his birthday on Sunday recounted on his personal website.
Čech later rejoined teammates back at their hotel to celebrate through the night with champagne, a champion’s cigar and cognac. He described the win against Bayern in their home Munich stadium as the “greatest moment of my career.”
Media reports recounted how the Czech ‘keeper studied all the penalties taken by the Bayern players over the past five years to give himself a better chance of guessing where they would shoot. With the extra-time penalty against his former Chelsea friend, Dutchman Arjen Robben, however, the homework was little help. “I didn’t know what to do with Robben. Half the time he shoots to the right, half to the left, making no pattern whatsoever,” he told the British daily The Guardian. Robben seemed in two minds himself with his penalty lacking force and direction.
In the final penalty shoot out, while guessing the right way each time, Čech and Chelsea were facing a 1:3 deficit in the early stages. Two saves while the Chelsea players hit the target meant that a trophy that on the balance of play should have gone to Bayern was heading for the first time to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.
Čech becomes the fourth Czech player to win a Champions League medal. He is expected to join the national squad on Wednesday at its prepared for the finals of the 2012 European Championships that begin next month.