LONDON (AP) -- Goalkeeper Petr Cech ended his trophy-filled, 11-year stay at Chelsea by signing for Premier League rival Arsenal on Monday after losing his starting place at the English champions.
Arsenal said the 33-year-old Cech has signed a "long-term contract for an undisclosed fee," with British media reporting the club has paid about 11 million pounds ($17.3 million) for the Czech Republic international.
Cech's debut for Arsenal could come against Chelsea, on Aug. 2, in the FA Community Shield-- the traditional curtain-raiser in the English season between the league champions and FA Cup winners of the previous campaign.
"I have the same commitment to football, the same motivation and the same hunger for success as I had at the beginning of my career, and I love the challenges brought by the top-quality players you face while playing in the Premier League," Cech said.
"When (Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger spoke to me about his ambitions for this club, and how he saw me as part of this team, the decision was clear."
Cech lost his place to Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea last season, and made just 16 appearances in all competitions. He won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League title at Chelsea after joining from French club Rennes in 2004.
After the departures of Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, Cech is another experienced member of Chelsea's squad to leave and captain John Terry has said that the goalkeeper will be worth "12 to 15 points a season" to Arsenal.
"Petr Cech is a player that I have admired for a long time and I am very pleased that he has decided to join us," Wenger said. "He has proven over many seasons that he is one of the outstanding keepers in the world and he will add great strength to our squad."
Cech's move threatens the futures of goalkeepers David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny at Arsenal.