This week Petr Cech announced his retirement from international football. Cech had won 121 caps with Czech Republic and played at the 2006 World Cup and four European Championship finals. Cech made his senior international debut in 2002 against Hungary and played his final game with the Czech Republic against Turkey in June this year. He announced his international retirement on Twitter saying, “We lived some amazing moments together – Wishing the team all the best for the future. #CZE,” he wrote.
Cech moved to Arsenal last summer from rivals Chelsea, and the Gunners and Cech ended the season second to Premier League Champions Leicester. In a post on the official Arsenal website he stated ““I think I’ve reached the point where I believe that if I want to continue doing things to 100 per cent every day, like I’ve always done, then I will probably need more time to rest and recover,” He goes on to say, “I’ve been playing in the national team for 14 years. We always qualified for the big tournaments.This is a purely football-based decision.”
During his season at Arsenal Cech took the record for the most clean sheets in Premier League history, but is now setting his eyes on the prize once again for Arsenal, after winning four league titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League when playing for Chelsea. He told Arsenal Player, “I’m now 34 and the next international tournament is in two years which, in football, is a very long time. “The last thing I wanted to do was start a campaign and then say ‘I don’t think it’s right for me to continue’ halfway through it.”
The announcement of Cech’s retirement has sent shockwaves through the football community and has left a lot of fans wondering what this means for Arsenal. With Cech expending his time with the Czech team, this leaves him time to solely focus his efforts on the Gunners. With fourteen long years playing for the Czech Republic he will surely go down as one of the greatest players in Czech history.
Arsenal fans have spoken out to praise Cech and his achievements. They largely regard him as a legend of Czech football and his record-breaking career accomplishments speak for themselves. By feeing himself up physically he can help to drive home success for Arsenal and add some more silverware into the cabinet. He recognises his value to the team and understands that everyone wants to be in the ‘big four’ but very few ever get there.