Cech: We've moved on from Moscow

Petr Cech spoke to the assembled media ahead of Saturday's Champions League final, with the keeper adamant that Chelsea are ready to bury the ghost of Moscow in 2008.


Do you feel any different approaching this final than you did in 2008 ahead of Moscow?

I think it is different because you play a completely different opposition, and four years ago you go to a final against a team you have played many times in the league, so you keep repeating the same games. They beat us in the league and then going to the final was a completely different mood for us and their camp. It is different when you play Manchester United all year in the league and the cup and you go to the Champions League and it is difficult. This time it is new opposition and I think it will be different because they will be at home, and it is the first time we have played a Champions League final 'away' and we have to deal with that.

After Moscow, a lot of players took a long time to recover from that defeat. You seem to be the kind of guy who can shrug it off - did it affect you deeply, or were you able to get over it quickly?

Well, you can't change history. That is the thing. We had 120 minutes plus a penalty shoot-out to win the cup and it didn't happen for us that time. You can't change it. Sit in the corner and cry because I lost? That is not my style. It is just the way it is. You cannot change history, you can only change the future and the present, and the present now is that we are in the final again. We will have another go and I hope that this time it will finish in a completely different way.

Compared with the team that played in Moscow, how are you different? Older, wiser? Better?

It is always good to have experience and it can help, but sometimes the final is such a big occasion that you never know. If you manage to go through with the experience it is better, but in terms of experience, I think both teams are going to the final equal because they lost the final two years ago and a lot of players are still there. It was the same experience we had in Moscow, so let's see what happens on Saturday, but I believe that we have played so many difficult games during the time I have been here, that it might help with this.

You might have thought after 2008 that you would be back in a final soon, but it is not that easy, is it?

Of course not. I have been here eight years and it is going to be only the second Champions League final, although we have had five or six semi-finals. So we were unlucky at times, but it is a long journey to the final of the Champions League. You have to compete against the best teams in Europe all the way through if you manage to get to the final, so it is not easy. Sometimes just one unlucky game can change your whole season, and hopefully this time the unlucky game has happened already - all season in the league!

Has your luck turned in this competition? Do you feel fortune is on your side after everything that has happened?

I think in this season everything is possible. This season has just proved that in football anything is possible. After the Napoli game away I think everybody wrote us off, but we are in the final.

And beating Barcelona away, with 10 men, not many people would have expected that either?

No, but Bayern have come a long way as well and they managed to knock out Real Madrid at their stadium as well. That will fill them with confidence and they are playing at home so we are still not favourites for the game, but I think it is a position we don't mind.

It is your 30th birthday on May 20. It would be nice to be a happy man on your birthday, wouldn't it?

Yes, the day after the game. If I have the cup, I don't need a cake! It would be fantastic to have my 30th birthday the day after winning the Champions League. It would be absolutely fantastic - but it is still far away now.

You must be relieved that both David Luiz and Gary Cahill appear to be fit for the game?

If you save everything then you don't need defenders! But the defenders help a lot. It is always good when you have players back. When you have suspensions for a final in defence it is not a good idea. I hope that everybody from the squad who is available to play will be fit and will play, because we will need everybody.

Arjen Robben is a player who you know well from his time at Chelsea. What have you made of his form this season at Bayern and do you think he is their main threat?

Robben, with Ribery and Gomez, is the main threat of Bayern Munich all season. He is full of confidence, and then coming into the final they all want to win; they all remember the loss of two years ago.

Do you think he is a better player than he was at Chelsea? Has he changed?

He is more experienced. But I think he hasn't lost his speed, his ability, his technique, his sense of scoring goals and creating chances. I think overall he has been a fantastic player. When he was here he was just unlucky with injuries: he couldn't play a lot of games because of that. Obviously he decided to take the offer from Real Madrid and he left, but he has been a fantastic player for us and he has kept doing that everywhere he has been.

How do you deal with a penalty shoot-out?

All the time you try to guess. This time we will try to ask the opposition players where they will shoot!

Presumably you analyse them over and over again?

I have all the information I need for the penalty shoot-out but I think it is not going to go to a penalty shoot-out. I think it is going to be decided in 90 minutes. I believe that.

Predicted line-ups:

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