Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced his retirement from International football with Czech Republic ESPN can confirm.
The veteran stopper has made a record 124 appearances for the Czech Republic national team.
Cech, who spent 10 years at Arsenal’s arch rivals Chelsea, played a total of 486 times for the Blues between 2004 and 2015, and was granted a move to a premier league rival in Arsenal by Chelsea owner Roman Abrahimovich for his loyalty and ten years of excellent service to the club.
With Chelsea, Cech won many titles; 4 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 3 Football League Cups, 2 FA Community shields, 1 UEFA Champions League and 1 Europa League title.
In his first year at Arsenal, Cech opened his trophy account by bagging the 2015 community shield in which he featured for the Gunners against his former side Chelsea, in a game that Arsenal won thanks to an incredible Alex Oxlade Chamberlain goal .
Petr Cech who along with Arsenal legend Tomas Rosicky was till this point, the only other player to have reached more than a 100 caps for his national side, surely leaves a dent in the Czech Republic national side. With Rosicky too nearing retirement from (at least ) international football at 36 years of age, the two senior statesmen will leave behind a squad with very few experienced members.
For instance, Cech’s back up goal keepers Tomas Vaclik (27) and Tomas Koubek (23) of Basel and Sparta Prague respectively, have only featured a total of 8 times for their national side, as opposed to Petr Cech’s 124 caps. While this could be an opportunity for the two young keepers to prove their worth and grab a chance, they lack experience, and having experience at the goal post is always a good thing for any team in world football.
Petr Cech also created a new record in the premier league by reaching 170 clean sheets after Arsenal’s 2-0 victory against Bournemouth last season.
When interviewed on arsenal.com, Petr Cech had this to say on quitting International football:
” When I was a kid, my ultimate dream was to play for the national team at least once.”
“Having done it so many times makes me very proud. “
Cech is the highest capped player in the history of the Czech Republic national team. Like Per Mertesacker, he will now devote all his energies to Arsenal, where the veteran stopper and premier league legend, will hopefully end his career eventually.