LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech hopes to finish his silverware-laden career in the best possible way by adding a final Europa League trophy before he hangs up his boots at the end of the season but may have to beat his old side Chelsea to do it.
Some key Cech saves helped Arsenal secure a 2-0 first leg home win in their quarter-final tie against Napoli on Thursday. They will travel to southern Italy next week knowing they face a tougher test but Cech is hoping they can progress.
“I would love to retire with a trophy in my hands,” he told reporters after Arsenal’s victory at The Emirates Stadium. “It would be the best possible ending for me and be a fantastic achievement for the club.”
Cech won the trophy in 2013 with Chelsea, who are on the other side of the draw and beat Czech side Slavia Prague 1-0 away on Thursday meaning Arsenal could face them in the final.
The Gunners have not won a European trophy since they lifted the old Cup Winners’ Cup back in 1994 and Cech said the a Europa League triumph would be the ideal way to end the drought.
“The Europa league is improving every year... and everybody wants to win it now because you book a spot for the Champions League the next year and as well you have a trophy in your hands.”
However, he remains wary of Napoli’s potential to spoil his send off.
“We take the 2-0, but we are still aware it is going to be difficult there. They are a difficult team to play away from home and they have been playing really well so far this season.”
Reporting by Marc Jones; editing by Ken Ferris