Arsenal custodian and Czech Republic's highest capped player Petr Cech announced his retirement from international football on Friday. Cech, 34, made his international debut in 2002 and went on to pick up 124 caps for the Czech Republic national football team.
Cech, a Chelsea veteran who joined Arsenal last year, featured in the 2006 FIFA World Cup for his country and also made appearances in the Euro 2004, Euro 2008, Euro 2012, and the Euro 2016.
His final appearance for the country's football team came against Turkey in an Euro 2016 group D match in June 2016.
Czech Republic failed to reach the knockout stages of the competition this time.
"I've been playing in the national team for 14 years," Cech was quoted as saying by Arsenal's official website on Friday. "We always qualified for the big tournaments. I've had so many club games to play year-by-year too, and 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.
"This is a purely football-based decision [to retire from international football]. 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," he explained.
Winner of the Premier League on four occasions and a winner of the Champions League on one occasion with Chelsea, Cech has also been crowned the Czech footballer of the year on as many as eight occasions.
"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," he added.
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. You look back at the Czech and Czechoslovakian history and you see so many great names and players. I managed to play more games than them, which shows the consistency and quality of my game." - Petr Cech
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