Petr Cech’s career for his country began when he was just 16 and he’s appeared in every European Championship since – a tradition he’s not planning on giving up any time soon.

The Czech Republic international is beyond experienced – in fact, he’s something of a veteran. The 33-year-old has made 115 appearances for his country and his reliability when it comes to taking part in huge tournaments is something he’s intensely proud of.

“Since I joined the national team, I’ve never missed a European Championship,” the goalkeeper said. “I’ve always qualified. Ever since I was 16 I’ve played in every single European Championship at every level so I hope that run will continue. I used to play in France and it would be special for me to play the Euros there.

“We had an absolutely brilliant start to the campaign. We won our first four games, including matches against Holland and in Turkey.”

Cech continued, “Unfortunately we’ve dropped points in the last two games – we drew at home against Latvia, which was a blow because we had a lot of chances. In our last game we played Iceland away and although we went 1-0 up, we lost the match.

“I think this is the game we look back at and can have regrets because if we had got a point or three, it would have put ourselves much closer to our target.

“We complicated our situation a little bit but we are still second and have four games to play. I believe that we have the team to qualify and hopefully we will prove it.”

Cech is never anything but the ultimate professional and his dedication to his national team, as well as club, is admirable. For many players, representing their country is more important than winning domestic titles and, although I wouldn’t necessarily say this is true with Cech, he definitely takes his role seriously.

The Czech Republic isn’t one of the highest rated teams in the world, so qualifying isn’t always a given and is always special when they do.

Their next match is on Thursday against Kazakhstan.