David Luiz hails Cech but hopes to send former team-mate out with a defeat
David Luiz lauded Petr Cech as the best goalkeeper he has played with but wants the veteran's career to end on a sour note when Chelsea take on London rivals Arsenal in the Europa League final.
Czech Republic international Cech spent 11 seasons at Stamford Bridge and racked up almost 500 appearances for the Blues before joining Arsenal in 2015.
Brazil centre-back David Luiz played in front of Cech for three-and-a-half seasons and holds the 37-year-old, who will hang up his gloves after the May 29 showpiece in Baku, in the highest regard.
"Petr Cech was the best goalkeeper I played with," he said. "I wish him all the best but I hope he can finish his career with a defeat.
"He knows that. He knows I'm going to try hard to win."
Arsenal advanced from the semi-finals by dispatching Valencia, while Chelsea saw off Frankfurt on penalties.
David Luiz expects nothing but a tough game against the Gunners and their head coach Unai Emery, who won three consecutive Europa League finals between 2014 and 2016 with Sevilla.
"It's going to be difficult for them and it's going to be difficult for us because both teams have quality," he said.
"Great players, great coach. Our coach [Maurizio Sarri] is great. In the first season he's done an amazing job and we are there.
"Unai is great. That's why he knows how to win this competition, and he did three times with Sevilla. That's why he's there again."
The showdown in Azerbaijan will be only the second time in the competition's history that the final will be contested by two English clubs, and the first since the inaugural edition in 1971-72 when Tottenham beat Wolves over two legs.
"Of course [it still feels like a London derby], it's going to be Arsenal and Chelsea," David Luiz added, even though there has been widespread complaint over the far-flung location when it comes to fans of either club attending.
"It doesn't matter the stadium, it doesn't matter where around the world. It's a London derby, both big clubs and the big clubs who want to win trophies."