Arsenal goalkeeper announces international retirement

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced his retirement from international football, it has been confirmed.

Cech, 34, played 121 times for Czech Republic with his final games coming at Euro 2016.

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.

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 really proud.

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