LONDON, February 16 – Chelsea's Czech international goalkeeper Petr Cech cannot wait for next week's "perfect" Champions League tie against Inter Milan.The last 16 clash pits Premier League leaders Chelsea, who’ve yet to win the European Cup, against an Italian side managed by the Londoners’ former boss Jose Mourinho.
"Always the Champions League is our aim and you can see that we’ve been playing for it every season and we’ve gone far, but the aim is the same," Cech told Chelsea Magazine.
"The Champions League is the only trophy this club is missing so I think that is what everyone would like to win," added the Czech international, a member of the Blues side that lost the 2008 Champions League final to English rivals Manchester United in a penalty shoot-out in Moscow.
"For the fans, for the players and for everyone linked with the club, I think it is going to be a special occasion (against Inter).
"I said before the draw, right before Christmas, that if the English and Italian media wanted a gift from Santa Claus it would be Chelsea versus Inter or Man United against AC Milan and, in the end, it did happen, which is perfect."
Cech was criticised early in the season as Chelsea repeatedly conceded goals from set pieces but last week made important saves in his team’s win over domestic title rivals Arsenal.
The 27-year-old has a contract until 2013 and, when asked about spending the next 10 years at Stamford Bridge, said: "If I stay fit, at least as I am now, then I’ll play as long as I can because this career is normally pretty short and everyone wants to make the most of it.
"It all depends on how fit you stay and how well you play because suddenly you’re not as fast and your reaction is not the same.
"You can compensate it with a bit of experience, but there always comes a point when you know it’s not going to be the same, so it depends how long this is going to take."
Cech added there were particular challenges about playing behind a Chelsea defence that tends not to give opposition teams too many chances.
"Sometimes it is hard because when you have 10 or 15 minutes without touching the ball, and then suddenly something happens, you have to be there," he said.
"It’s tough mentally because sometimes you can have one shot against you and it’s a goal. It can be a brilliant goal, when basically the whole game you haven’t touched the ball, and you’re just getting it out of the net.
"The ability you have is always important but if you want to win the game you have to keep your concentration for the full 90 minutes at the top level.
"Not everyone can adapt to that because in the past so many great keepers from mid-table sides come to a big club and it hasn’t worked for them.
"They couldn’t get used to the fact you only have one, two, maybe a maximum of three things to do throughout the game and you have to be spot on."