Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.
The 36-year-old, who won the Premier League four times and the Champions League during his time at Chelsea – announced his decision in a post on his Twitter account.
Petr Cech said: “This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 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.
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 arrived in England when he was signed by Chelsea from French club Rennes in July 2004. He made his Premier League debut in a 1-0 win over Manchester United, which was also newly-appointed manager Jose Mourinho’s first league game in charge.
He went on to win 13 trophies with the Stamford Bridge club, including one Champions League and four Premier League titles.
Cech’s career was made all the more remarkable given the serious head injury he suffered 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.
He also set a club record of 228 clean sheets in all competitions, beating the previous mark of 208 set by former England international Peter Bonetti between 1960 and 1979. He made 494 appearances in all competitions (sixth-most all-time) for Chelsea. He is also the Czech Republic’s most capped player, making 124 appearances.
Petr Cech moved on to Arsenal in the summer of 2015 and continued to impress, making well over 100 appearances and winning the FA Cup in 2017.
|Petr Cech’s Premier League career||Chelsea||Arsenal|
|Minutes per goal conceded||123||78|
|Clean sheet %||48.6%||36.4%|
|Saves to shots %||76.7%||72.4%|
“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 the Arsenal Foundation, we want to say – thank you Petr Cech,” tweeted Arsenal.
“A champion on and off the pitch. Enjoy your retirement.” Chelsea tweeted.
Chelsea fans will get an opportunity to say farewell to one of their all-time greats when they visit the Emirates for a Premier League game this Saturday.
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