Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.
The 36-year-old won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League during a hugely successful 11-year spell with Chelsea. He moved to Arsenal in 2015 and went onto win another FA Cup in 2017.
Announcing his decision to retire on Twitter on Tuesday morning, the player, who also won 124 caps for the Czech Republic, 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.
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) January 15, 2019
“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 was signed from Rennes by then Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri in 2004 and became an instant success at Stamford Bridge. His 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.
Cech went onto become the first keeper 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.
Reacting to Cech’s announcement, 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!”