Petr Cech: How Chelsea Goalkeeper Proved He's the Best in the World

Dan RenfroCorrespondent IIIMay 19, 2012

MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19:  Goalkeeper Petr Cech of Chelsea saves a penalty by Arjen Robben of Bayern Muenchen during UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

For anyone that was still in doubt, Petr Cech has solidified himself as the best goalkeeper in the world.

In the Champions League final, Cech played his best game of the year, and he saved the game for Chelsea. Against Manuel Neuer, whom many consider the best in the world, Cech outperformed his counterpart just enough to win the European title.

While Didier Drogba will get the headlines, Cech's performance means more on a worldwide level.

Drogba made incredible plays, and he was the bright spot in Chelsea's attack. However, the game was about defense, and Cech's dominance was the biggest story.

With Bayern Munich mounting attack after attack, Cech stood stoic in goal.

He made some easy saves, difficult saves and improvisational saves. And that was just in regulation.

In extra time, he lined up against Arjen Robben, and he looked as confident as ever. After Drogba foolishly clipped Ribery in the box, Robben was taking a penalty to win the trophy.

Cech faked left, right and dove to his left, making an incredible save. He over-dove the shot, but he turned his body just enough to knock the ball down. Then he had the presence of mind to pounce on it before Robben could knock it in.


In penalties, Cech guessed correctly each time, and he got his hand to a couple. After four shots, Bastian Schweinsteiger had to be thinking about the keeper as he stepped up. After a stutter step, he pushed his shot too far and into the post.

After playing well for the whole game, Cech was a beast during the penalty kicks. He made a key save, and he surely got into the mind of Bayern's best player.

There are only a few goalkeepers that can make big-time saves. There are even fewer that can save penalties. Then there are even fewer that are clutch enough to save their team.

Cech did all those things. He was spectacular for the last few months of the season, and everything culminated with him psyching out Schweinsteiger. Cech's clutch performance put him over the top.

There are plenty of good goalkeepers in the world.

Right now, Cech rules them all.