LONDON (AFP) – Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech (pic below) announced yesterday that he will retire at the end of the season.
The 36-year-old, who won four Premier League titles with Chelsea, revealed his decision on Twitter.
He wrote, “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.”
The Czech, who arrived in the Premier League with Chelsea in 2004 and moved to Arsenal in 2015, added, “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.
“I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.”
Cech joined Arsenal in 2015 and has made 129 appearances for the Gunners after winning multiple trophies at rivals Chelsea.
Signed from Rennes by Claudio Ranieri in 2004, Cech won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League, the Europa League and three League Cups with the Blues.
Cech suffered a serious head injury in 2006 following a collision with Reading’s Stephen Hunt.
Hunt’s knee crashed into Cech’s head, leaving him with a fractured skull, but he returned to action four months later wearing what became his trademark protective headgear.
Cech became the first goalkeeper to keep 200 Premier League clean sheets in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Watford last season, during which he saved a penalty from Troy Deeney.
He is also the Czech Republic’s most capped player, making 124 appearances.
Cech is no longer first choice at Arsenal, with Bernd Leno preferred for most of this season so far, but the club were quick to pay their own tribute.
Arsenal tweeted, “For your consummate professionalism, for being the perfect role model, for the 50 clean sheets, for your honesty, your integrity and for your inspiring work with @AFC_Foundation, we want to say… Thank you, @PetrCech!”