‘Nobody could stop him!’ – Cech lavishes praise on ex-Chelsea team-mate

Lewis Oldham
Cech praises Drogba

Petr Cech has heaped praise on his former Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba, as “nobody could stop him” when he was at his best.

Cech and Drogba both signed for Chelsea ahead of the 2004/05 campaign. They helped the Londoners win the Premier League title that season.

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Both players have gone down in the history books as Chelsea legends. Drogba netted 164 times from 381 appearances for the Blues.

During his time in England, the striker lifted the Premier League and FA Cup four times apiece. He was also an integral figure as Chelsea won the Champions League in 2011/12.

It was announced on Thursday that Drogba was one of the latest inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame. 

Speaking after this announcement, Cech discussed the positives Drogba brought to Chelsea:

“I first came across Didier in France when I was at Rennes and he was playing for Guingamp. He was flying, and then he went to Marseille and was top goalscorer in Ligue 1. So when he signed for Chelsea, I knew what a good signing it was,” Cech told Chelsea’s official website.

“He was big, he was strong, he was powerful, he could finish every type of ball coming into the box, he could do it himself. He held the ball up, he was dominant in the air. He could take free-kicks.

“One on one he was good, right foot, left foot. It was perfect. We were getting a really strong player. I knew we had a chance to win something when a player like him was joining.

“We arrived at Chelsea the same summer. We were new people. We knew each other because we came from the same league and had played against each other. In France, I had been in the Team of the Year, and he was the top goalscorer.

“We had a common goal to make our mark again, and to win things. We had the French connection, the language connection. We could help each other. We always got on well because we wanted to do our best to win.

“He started slower than some people expected. I think it was the difference between the leagues, because the Premier League was far more physical, and the referees had a different approach to it. You had to find a way to beat your opponents.

“Some teams at that time were really physical, with bigger, taller players than him. He also injured his groin at the beginning and that held him back a little bit, but the moment he got going, nobody could stop him. The machine started, and it didn’t stop until he retired.”