Former Arsenal midfielder Rosicky retires

AP
The 37-year-old midfielder was one of the most talented Czech players in decades, but his career was marred by repeated injuries.
AP
Reuters

Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Rosicky celebrates at the end of the Euro 2016 Group D match against Croatia at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne, France, in this June 17, 2016, photo.

Former Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky, known for his playmaking qualities as "The Little Mozart," retired from soccer on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old midfielder was one of the most talented Czech players in decades, but his career was marred by repeated injuries.

"I have no injury problem, it's my personal decision," Rosicky said. "I was feeling that I can't offer any more what I'd like to."

Rosicky last played for Sparta Prague, where he also started his career. He signed a two-year contract in 2016 after 10 years with Arsenal in the English Premier League.

Frequent injuries during his decade in London limited him to only 246 games, scoring 28 goals.

When he was fit, he made his presence felt by helping the Gunners win the FA Cup in 2014 and 2015.

"If you love football, you love Rosicky," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said in January 2015.

Rosicky moved to Borussia Dortmund in January 2001 after three seasons with Sparta for a then-record transfer fee in the Bundesliga.

He won the German title in 2002 and also reached the UEFA Cup final.

With his technical skills and creativity, he was also the Czech Republic's undisputed leader in his 105 internationals, making his international debut at the age of 19.

He scored 23 goals but missed the 2008 European Championship due to an injury and only made two appearances at the tournaments in 2012 and 2016.

Rosicky said he was planning to remain with Sparta as a club official.

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


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