Sir Alex Ferguson watched a 19-year-old Petr Cech when he played for Rennes

Rennes's Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech trie

Petr Cech has announced that he will retire from football at the end of the season.

The Arsenal goalkeeper confirmed his plans to bring an end to a glittering career on Twitter.

"This is my 20th season as a professional player and it is 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of this season,” Cech wrote.

“Having played 15 years in the Premier League and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve.

Cech will bow out of the game with the record for most clean sheets in the Premier League (he currently has 202 to his name) and with an incredible trophy haul.

The ‘keeper helped Arsenal win the FA Cup in 2017 but it was at Chelsea where he enjoyed his greatest years.

Four Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League; Cech won it all at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

Ferguson watched Cech at Rennes

But had things turned out differently, he could have been a Manchester United, not a Chelsea, player.

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted in 2011 to watching Cech when he was a 19-year-old and playing in France for Rennes.

The Scot, though, deemed Cech too young and passed up the opportunity to sign him.

“I went to see Petr Cech when he was at Rennes,” Ferguson said, per the Daily Mail. “He was 19 at the time and I said to myself, ‘He's too young’.

“But Chelsea bought him and he's never been out of the team.

“So age doesn't matter when you have the ability of a goalkeeper like Petr Cech or, we know, David de Gea has.”

Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlos Queiroz of Manchester United

It's worth remembering that De Gea was 20-years-old when Ferguson signed him from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

In Ferguson's opinion, the Spaniard's talent clearly outweighed the fact that he was still very young.

So Man United were aware of Cech’s abilities but it was Chelsea who went ahead and signed him, paying Rennes £7 million in 2004.

At the age of 21, he had matured to the point that he was the Czech Republic’s No.1.

In Ferguson’s case, he’s the one that got away.

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