Petr Cech to retire at end of season after 20-year career

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech announced on Tuesday 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 started this season as Arsenal first choice keeper but has since lost his place to Bernd Leno.

The Czech has made 12 appearances for the Gunners this season, with his most recent coming when he started in the FA Cup third round win at Blackpool.

Cech has also played in Europa League and League Cup games, but has not played in the league since going off injured in the win over Watford on 29 September.

Arsenal, who are fifth in the Premier League, host fourth-placed Chelsea in the top flight on Saturday.

Cech’s main chances of adding to his trophy haul appear to be in the FA Cup and Europa League.

The Gunners play Manchester United in the next round of the FA Cup, with the competition’s final on 19 May – the day before Cech turns 37.

Arsenal play BATE Borisov in the next round of the Europa League, with the final of that competition on 29 May.


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