Friday, July 8

Cech retires from international football

Cech retires from international football

Czech Republic and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced his retirement from international football.

The Czech Republic's most-capped player made the announcement as he collected the national team's player of the year award at a ceremony in Prague on Friday.

He retires with 124 caps, the last of them won in a 2-0 defeat to Turkey as the Czechs were eliminated from Euro 2016 with just one point from three group games.

Speaking to the Arsenal website he said: "This is a purely football-based decision. If I want to prolong my career and play at the highest level for as long as I can, then I will probably need to find the balance so that I can continue to do so.

"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.

"I've made fantastic memories and I will keep them. But as I said, you cannot stop time and sometimes you need to make decisions looking to the future. I believe it is the right move."

Cech left Chelsea for Arsenal in a £10m deal last summer and won the Premier League's Golden Glove award in his first season at the Emirates thanks to 16 clean sheets in 34 appearances.

The 34-year-old told Sky Sports News HQ this week he wants silverware in his second year at the club.

"There were a lot of positives from our last campaign," he said, "but obviously we would like to carry that on and improve for the next season because we finished empty-handed and that is not what we wanted. "

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