Footballer Tomáš Rosický retires

The Czech player recently returned to Sparta after a decade at Arsenal

Tomáš Rosický, the former captain of the Czech football team, announced his retirement at age 37. In his career, he played for Sparta Prague, Borussia Dortmund, and Arsenal London, and earned the nickname “the little Mozart.” His career lasted 18 years.

“My body for a long time has said that it does not want to continue. There is no sense in continuing, and now I have nothing to offer,” Rosický said at a press conference. He added that there was no specific health problem. “It's my decision. I cannot offer what I would like to”.

He came to his decision during winter training.

“After careful consideration, I have realized I am no longer able to fully prepare my body for what professional football requires,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Rosický began his youth career at ČKD Kompresory Praga in 1986 before joining the youth team at Sparta in 1988. He began his professional career in Sparta Prague in 1998, and went to Borussia Dortmund in 2001 and then Arsenal in 2006. He returned to Sparta at the end of August 2016.

“I imagined my return to Sparta differently, but I do not regret a moment of it,” Rosický said. He plans to continue with the team in a non-playing role.

“I love football so there is a good chance I will continue at Sparta, I know enough about the football and I have something to offer. We will see how it will evolve. … I have always been interested in how a club is managed overall, whether at Arsenal or Dortmund,” he said, adding the exact details of future participation were not clear.

After turning pro, he was named the Talent of the Year at the 1999 Czech Footballer of the Year awards.

In January 2001 he was traded to Dortmund for Kč 449 million, making him at that time the most expensive player in German Bundesliga history and the most expensive Czech player to be sold to a foreign team.

He had 149 league appearances at Dortmund and scored 20 goals.

He went to Arsenal London in 2006, where he spent a decade and had 170 league appearances, scoring 19 goals. His time at Arsenal was marked by several injuries that limited his time on the field. A knee injury in 2008 kept him off the field for 20 months. He was injured again for the 2015/16 season.

During his 10 years at Arsenal, he won the FA cup twice.

He debuted in the national team in 2000 and became the captain in 2006. The last match he played was during Euro 2016 in France against Croatia. He has 23 goals in 105 matches, with only Karel Poborský and Petr Čech having more matches.

“I can certainly be proud of the fact that, despite my injuries, I was able to play over a hundred matches for the [national] representation,” he said, adding he could not pick out a favorite moment.

Due to his injuries, he only managed to play 12 matches after returning to Sparta. “Of course, I would like to say goodbye under other conditions. It's terribly hard for me to say goodbye today, I'm not sleeping well, the whole situation is hard for me,” he said, adding that he was already starting a new life.

He may play amateur football for fun on the regional level for fun, he said. He added that he might join his brother Jiří on the team for Šestajovice.

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