“Tough luck, you’re not signing for Barcelona” – Chelsea legend Petr Cech opens up on failed ‘dream’ move to Camp Nou


Chelsea legend Petr Cech recently revealed that he was close to joining Barcelona a year before his move to Stamford Bridge. He claimed that he couldn’t join the Catalan side as Joan Laporta won the presidential election back in 2003.

Speaking to SPORT, Cech stated that Lluis Bassat, who was also running in the Barcelona presidential election, had pledged to sign the Czech Republic goalkeeper if he won. However, Laporta ended up winning and the move fell through. He said:

“If [Joan] Laporta had not won the 2003 elections, I would have signed for Barça. When Bassat lost, my agent told me: ‘tough luck, you’re not signing for Barcelona’.”

Cech added that the Catalan side were his favorite club growing up and said:

“Playing against Barça at Camp Nou is a special moment for any footballer. When I was 13 or 14 years old, my favorite club was always Barça. They had Stoichkov, Romario, Koeman, and Zubizarreta in goal. It was my childhood dream, so playing them was special.”

Cech faced Barcelona nine times in his career and won twice while losing three games. He conceded 12 goals in those matches and managed to keep a clean sheet twice, including one in the first leg of the 2011/12 semi-final in the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea made their move to sign Petr Cech six months after move to Barcelona fell through

Petr Cech revealed in an interview back in 2020 with the Chelsea website that the club moved to sign him in January 2004 but Rennes were unwilling to let him leave until the end of the season. He was keen on moving to Stamford Bridge even if he was set to be Carlo Cudicini‘s understudy for six months.

He said:

“When Chelsea came in, a big club with huge potential and ambition, I wanted to go. I pushed a little bit, and in the end, the clubs managed to get the agreement. Chelsea wanted me to move in January so if Carlo Cudicini was injured they had the option of playing me, but Monsieur Pinault wouldn’t allow that. He said if I went it had to be at the end of the season.”

He added:

“So I had five months knowing I was going to move, and for me it was actually an advantage. I felt like I could prepare better. I could make sure I learned more English. I had time to watch every Chelsea game and learn about the way the team played and how individuals played.”

Petr Cech ended up playing 494 games for Chelsea and kept 228 clean sheets in those games. He won the Premier League title and the FA Cup four times each. He also played a key role in the club’s UEFA Champions League triumph in 2011/12.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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