London, Jan 15 (IANS) Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech on Tuesday decided to call it a day from football at the end of the season.
“This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of the season,” Cech wrote on Twitter.
“Having played in the (English) 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 and then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch,” he added.
Veteran keeper Cech, 36, was the second choice custodian in Unai Emery’s team with Bernd Leno taking over the gloves from him.
Arsenal put a statement on their website in which they thanked him for his contribution to the club.
“Petr recently informed us of his decision,” Arsenal wrote. “Like all football fans, we are sad about this, but completely understand and support Petr.
“We know Petr will continue to make a big contribution in the future, whatever he decides to do. Petr has been an extraordinary player during his 15 years in the Premier League and an exemplary professional on and off the pitch.
“He has been a fantastic ambassador for Arsenal, Chelsea and the Czech Republic and will always hold a special place in the affections of football fans around the world. Petr, we wish you every future success and thank you for everything you have done for our club, on and off the pitch, and the wider game,” the EPL club further wrote.
“We look forward to you helping us to an exciting finish to this season and wish you well for the future.”
The former Czech Republic international won four English Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three Leagues Cups, the Europa League, the Champions League and is the most capped player in his national team’s history with 124 appearances.
He first joined Chelsea in 2004 and then moved to Arsenal in 2015.
Cech made 333 EPL appearances for Chelsea and 110 at Arsenal; and is the only goalkeeper to have kept over 200 clean sheets — with 202 in total.