Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced that he intends to retire at the end of the season.
Cech, who will turn 37 in May, issued a statement on social media (before the Gunners could break the news formally) to confirm that his 20-year professional career will come to an end along with the culmination of the 2018/19 campaign.
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.
I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season.
Then I am looking forward to seeing what holds for me off the pitch.
Of course, Cech’s place as an all-time Premier League great is concrete, but his gradual slowing and difficulties adapting to the new-fangled ‘playing out’ fad have seen him look increasingly antiquated over the past year or so.
Those mid-2000s Chelsea stats are still peerless league records (just 15 goals conceded in 04/05, with a massive 25 clean sheets kept along the way) and are unlikely to be beaten.
Cech could play on elsewhere, certainly – he’s still a fine goalkeeper in the traditional shot-stopper mould – but if he feels the time is right, then so be it.
After two decades at the coal face, he’s probably earned himself a rest.