Petr Cech has confirmed that he is retiring from international football, and will concentrate on preserving his club career.
The goalkeeper failed in trying to help his side to qualify from the group stages at the current European Championships, but was in one of the toughest groups of the tournament, and will take no shame from his international career.
Cech was given the captain’s armband for his final international fixture with Turkey, due to an injury sustained to usual captain Tomas Rosicky, but was unable to inspire a result from his side.
He has now confirmed that he will be stepping down from international football, in order to get the most out of his club career.
Cech 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.”
The former Chelsea star added that he enjoyed his first season at the Emirates, but having come away without a trophy, he is looking to move forward in the coming campaign.
“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. ”
This is great news for Arsenal, although bad news for Wojciech Szczesny, who appears to be hoping to return to the club to play a role in the future.
How many years can we expect to get out of the record-holding shot-stopper?