Soccer

Former Arsenal midfielder Rosicky retires

Prague – Former Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky has called time on his career midway through Sparta Prague's 2017/18 Czech First League season.

Rosicky, 37, played 105 times for the Czech Republic, scoring 23 goals, and also featured for his country at Euro 2000, 2004, and the 2006 Soccer World Cup before missing Euro 2008 due to injury.

He returned to the national team for Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 and captained the side.

Having begun his career with Sparta Prague, where he won two league title, Rosicky then spent five years with Borussia Dortmund before joining Arsenal in 2006.

He had scooped the 2001/02 Bundesliga trophy ahead of a decade with the Gunners where he helped the London side to two FA Cups, a League Cup runners-up medal twice, along with the 2014 Community Shield.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Rosicky said: "After careful consideration I have realised I am no longer able to fully prepare my body for what professional football requires.

"I would like to thank Sparta for raising me, for being the first step in my career in big clubs, and for allowing me to say goodbye at the place I love the most."

Sparta are currently fifth in the Czech top-flight with eight wins from 16 games, some 18 points adrift of league leaders Viktoria Plzen.

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