Think Petr Čech, think of his helmet. The two just go together.
The 33-year-old hasn’t always worn it, but donned the headgear for the first time in 2007 after an injury left him with a depressed skull fracture.
So for nearly nine years he has worn it every time he has played football, even in training, but while on international duty he has admitted that he would feel more comfortable without the helmet and the way in which it impairs his senses.
“I would be more confident if I had it off,” Arsenal’s summer signing told Tyden (per Sport Witness).
“Whether you like it or not, with the helmet surroundings are perceived differently. You have your ears covered, worse hearing. The doctor forbade me to take off the helmet, and if I did, I would not have insurance (laughs). So I don’t really think about.”
The goalkeeper is still performing at the very highest level regardless, but you have to wonder how much of a handicap it is.
Would he be even better without it? That’s out of the question, as he must feel safer in the helmet after suffering such a horrendous injury.
“On the other hand, in the time I’ve worn a helmet, I’ve twice had a concussion. I do not want to think what would have happened to me without it.”
Then best not to think about it, Petr.
Thankfully he does wear it and he’s perfectly healthy. While he was on international duty he also found the time to play football, and equalled Karel Poborsky’s record of 118 Czech Republic caps by playing against Poland on Tuesday evening.