Petr Cech believes that Chelsea are the favourites for the Europa League final because they’ve played in more European finals.
Speaking to the press, Cech touched on who will handle the pressure better, facing his former side in the final, helping Sparta Prague qualify for the Europa League by beating Chelsea, finishing his career, Unai Emery, Azerbaijan for fans and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and if he’s going to Chelsea in the future.
On the Europa League favourites
“The favourite for me is Chelsea because they have historically played more European finals. In addition, this season they finished in the league ahead of us. The team that will better deal with pressure [will win].
“It’s the last game of the season, plus enough time, so you’re still waiting and waiting. It adds to the pressure. We played the last game more than two weeks before the final, but Chelsea is also a Premier League team, so the difference he was getting up.”
“I think it’s an advantage for Chelsea. However, for Arsenal, it’s the historic final and our only way to the Champions League, where the club doesn’t want to be missing. More responsibility for the result lies with us.”
On ending his career
“It would be a great end to my career: to win a cup with Arsenal, get them to the Champions League and in addition to provide Sparta with a spot in the Europa League. Three birds with one shot.”
On Azerbaijan and fans
“There is a beautiful stadium and Azerbaijan is a country where football is becoming more and more popular. On the other hand, it is an unfortunate destination for a fan because for many it could be the greatest moment of their career.”
On Henrikh Mkhitaryan
“That shouldn’t be the case. The criteria for selecting the final place should clearly meet the options so that every player can play regardless of his or her origin and political situation.”
On Unai Emery
“There is an advantage to having a coach who has experienced the big finals and can transfer his experience to the team. On the other hand, the game is played by the players and only depends on how they do it on the field.”
On his future with Chelsea
“Honestly, I’m not watching speculation. I’m focusing purely on my match. That’s all I can do: play the best final.”
Editor’s note –
This article originally reported that Cech said “[They are] the team that will better deal with pressure.” This was based on the Google Translate translation but seems to be incorrect and we have adjusted it above as we have no intention of misrepresenting what anyone, at any time, says.