Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced he will retire from football at the end of the season.
The 36-year-old’s contract at the Gunners expires in the summer, and the former Chelsea custodian says he feels like it is the right time to call it a day after two decades as a professional:
“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.”
Arsenal fans on Twitter were quick to praise Cech’s contribution since arriving from the Blues in 2015:
Legend. Enjoy your retirement, you’ve earned it.
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) 15 January 2019
Legend, one of the best the league has seen. Thanks for everything
— P™ (@Cechque) 15 January 2019
Thanks for being a model professional Petr, you’re a legend of the game
— Spanish Gooner (@elspanishgooner) 15 January 2019
Legend, we will always love you big Pete pic.twitter.com/kno7oNTCan
— 𝚂𝚞𝚕𝚝𝚊𝚗 (@Sl63_49) 15 January 2019
Thank you for everything Petr. Hopefully we will have some success at the end of this season.
— #AFC_TH (@AFCThai) 15 January 2019
The only one who could have ever left Chelsea for Arsenal and remain respected by both clubs. Congratulations on a great career, Petr.
— Jordan Hobbs (@jordanhobbss) 15 January 2019
All the best Petr. Thanks for everything during your time with Arsenal and hopefully you can sign off with one more trophy!!
— Rob (@goonerrtw) 15 January 2019
Thanks for everything legend. Have a wonderful retirement. ❤️
— Quícksílver (@DashOfBellerin) 15 January 2019
Happy retirement Petr! A true premier league legend and like you said you have achieved everything possible in your career. All the best 🙌🏻⚽️ 🇨🇿🔴
— The Emery Way (@Emerys_Elite_11) 15 January 2019
Would love to see you stick around at the club in some capacity. Best of luck in whatever you choose to do though, Petr.
— Joe (@RedAndWhite11) 15 January 2019
Hope you stay at @Arsenal big man. Top character/pro.
— Josh C. (@JoshwaClarke) 15 January 2019
Cech has won every trophy in the game, and couldn’t have asked for a better career. However, he lost his place to Bernd Leno back in October following a hamstring injury and hasn’t been able to regain his place.
Earlier this month, manager Unai Emery said he wasn’t certain whether the Czech shot-stopper would remain at the Emirates beyond the end of the season, and it seems he has been mulling over his future for a while.
Cech says, though, he is still hoping to win one more trophy before retiring. The Gunners are still in the Europa League and the FA Cup, as well as competing for a top-four finish in the Premier League.