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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Former Arsenal and Dortmund midfielder Rosicky announces retirement after career beset by injury

Czech midfielder started and ended his career at Sparta Prague, while earning more than 100 caps for his national side.

Tomas Rosicky announces his retirement during a press conference in Prague, Czech Republic. Katerina Sulova / AP Photo
Tomas Rosicky announces his retirement during a press conference in Prague, Czech Republic. Katerina Sulova / AP Photo

Former Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Rosicky has announced his retirement from professional football after a career beset by injuries finally took its toll.

Rosicky, 37, started and ended his career at Sparta Prague, with spells in Germany at Borussia Dortmund and Premier League side Arsenal in between.

After making his professional debut for Sparta in 1998, Rosicky cemented his place in the first team the following season, helping the club win the 1999/2000 Czech First League.

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Rosicky's move to Dortmund in January 2001 made him the most expensive Bundesliga player in history, and in his first full season with the club helped them win the league title.

After five-and-a-half years in Germany, Rosicky moved to Arsenal, spending 10 years at the London club and winning two FA Cups.

However, it was during his time at Arsenal that the injury problems started to mount, missing the entire 2008/09 season, while featuring in more than 20 games in a league campaign just five times.

"My body was telling me for a long time that it does not want (to do it) any more," Rosicky told a news conference on Wednesday. "I would probably have nothing to offer my teammates and Sparta."

"I lived through beautiful moments but unfortunately also terribly negative ones. Without even thinking about, I would immediately do it again."

Rosicky made 105 appearances for the Czech Republic national team before retiring in 2016, making him the third-highest capped Czech international behind Petr Cech and Karel Poborsky.

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