Chelsea legend Petr Cech has confirmed that this season will be his last as a professional footballer.
The now 36-year-old Cech arrived at Stamford Bridge from Rennes in 2004. During his time with the West London club, he made 494 appearances in all competitions for the Blues and won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League.
His most memorable appearance in a Blues jersey came during the 2012 Champions League final, where Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich on penalties.
He also set a record during the 2004-05 season as he only let in 15 goals. Cech also boasts 202 clean sheets in the Premier League, which is more than any other keeper.
During his heyday with the Blues, Cech was widely regarded as being one of the best keepers in the world. He left the club in 2015 after Thibaut Courtois replaced him as the club’s first-choice shot-stopper.
The former Czech Republic international served as the Gunners first-choice keeper for the past three seasons and has amassed 110 top-flight appearances for them so far. However, he was quite error-prone last season and has Unai Emery has replaced him with Bernd Leno as the club’s first-choice keeper.
Cech had an opportunity to play on with Arsenal but has decided to now hang up his boots. He is now working on his coaching badges and is likely to follow in the footsteps of his former team-mates and fellow Blues legends John Terry and Frank Lampard in entering the world of management.
As quoted by The Mirror, Cech said: “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.
“I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season. I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.”