LONDON – Arsenal’s goalkeeper Petr Cech of the Czech Republic announced on Tuesday his decision to retire from professional soccer at the end of the current season.
The 36-year-old Cech published a statement on his social media accounts making public his decision, which comes after a long career that lasted 20 years.
“It feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of this season,” Cech said. “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.”
The former international keeper started his career at FK Chmel Blsany of the Czech Republic in July 1999, before joining AC Sparta Praha two years later.
He moved to Ligue 1 in 2002, playing for Stade Rennais for two seasons before landing at the Premier League’s Chelsea, where he guarded the net for over a decade until he transferred to crosstown rival Arsenal in 2015.
“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 said.
Cech was the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League and the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League champion with Chelsea.
In addition, he was part of the Chelsea squads that won the English Premier league four times (in 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2015).
He claimed three trophies with Arsenal: one FA Cup in 2017 and two Community Shields (English Supercup) titles in 2016 and 2018.
At the individual level, Cech has been chosen player of year in the Premier League and in the Czech Republic seven times, while being the most capped player, 124 times, for his national team.
“Petr Cech has kept 202 Premier League clean sheets – the most of any goalkeeper in the PL era,” Arsenal said on its official Twitter account.