Arsenal keeper Cech reveals summer retirement plan after 20-year career

The 36-year-old claims to have achieved everything that he set out to in football and feels the time is right to hang up his gloves

Petr Cech
Petr Cech

Petr Cech has announced that he will be retiring from professional football at the end of the season, with the Arsenal goalkeeper to bring an end of a 20-year career.

The vastly-experienced keeper feels the time is right to walk away as he has "won every single trophy possible".

He will turn 37 shortly after the current Premier League campaign comes to a close and admits he continue to work hard for the Gunners, aiming to win a trophy in what is his final season.

Cech posted in a message on social media: "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 and hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch."

Cech started his career on the books of home-town club Viktoria Plzen.

It was, however, at Chmel Blsany that he would make his senior bow and begin to climb the professional ladder.

He was handed a debut at just 17 years of age and required a little over 12 months in which to secure himself a switch to Sparta Prague.

Cech then made his international bow with the Czech Republic in 2002, as the first signs of interest from England began to emerge.

His next stop was, however, to be France, with two seasons taken in with Rennes.

A Premier League transfer finally materialised in 2004, with a £7 million deal agreed by Claudio Ranieri eventually benefitting Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

A model of consistency throughout his time at Stamford Bridge, Cech would take in 494 appearances for the Blues and achieve four Premier League title triumphs, four FA Cup wins, three League Cup successes, a Champions League crown and Europa League glory.

He was eventually forced out of west London by the emergence of Thibaut Courtois, but made the short journey to Arsenal in 2015 in an effort to find a more regular role.

Another FA Cup win has been secured with the Gunners, along with 129 outings to date, but he has once again found himself falling behind other goalkeeping options.

Bernd Leno is now the favoured choice between the sticks for Unai Emery, with Cech prepared to accept that his race is almost run.

There is still a chance that more major silverware will be secured before he bows out, with Arsenal still in the FA Cup and chasing down a potential appearance in the 2019 Europa League final which will be staged in Baku on May 29 – nine days after Cech turns 37.

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