LONDON, July 2- Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has praised the contribution made by Petr Cech during his 11-year career at Stamford Bridge.
Cech has completed his move to Arsenal for a fee of around £10m, with the deal ratified now the Premier League transfer window has officially opened.
The Czech Republic international made more than 400 appearances for the Blues, winning 13 major trophies during his time at the club.
“Petr has been a great servant for Chelsea for 11 years and helped this club to win almost everything there is to win,” Mourinho told Chelsea’s official website.
“I always said I wanted him to stay but I understand Petr needed to move on to play first team football every week.
“Sometimes you have to respect the wishes of someone who has earned so much respect with his service and actions for your club. I support the owner’s decision to honour the player in this way.
“It is very rare in football to make a decision like this and for that reason I am proud of my club for making it. There are not many clubs in the world big enough to be able to make that decision.
“Petr’s success at this club will always to be remembered and we thank him for everything he did.”
Mourinho gave Cech his Chelsea debut in 2004 after signing him from French side Rennes for £7m and the player spoke of the respect he has for his former boss.
“He (Mourinho) had to make his decision at the start of last season, I had to make my decision at the start of this season, but I will always keep the best regards for him because I believe that we had so much success and so much respect for each other,” said Cech.
“He is one of the best managers in the world. Now, we will be opponents but it will not change our relationship, I believe.
“I learned a lot from him and one of those things was that if you have to make a hard decision, you need to make sure that you do it if you believe it is the right choice.”