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By Chineze Ogugua

Former Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky has retired from playing football. Rosicky announced his retirement on Wednesday, bringing to an end a career spanning 19 years and spells at three clubs.

Tomas Rosicky

The three-time Czech Footballer of the Year, won the Czech league twice with hometown club Sparta Prague, before going on to lift the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund in 2002.

He then joined the Gunners in 2006 where he made 246 appearances, scoring 28 times and helping them to two FA Cups.

In a message to both Sparta and Arsenal fans, he said:

“After much consideration, I came to the conclusion that my body can no longer prepare for the burden that professional football requires.

“I would like to thank Sparta for raising me, allowing me to continue in the big clubs in my career and end it where I always wanted.

“I knew it was coming. It was harder and harder to prepare for matches, my mind still wanted to play but my body refused.

“Recently my mind also stopped working this way. I had a great football career, I loved football and I would definitely go through it again.”

Rosicky who made 105 appearances for the Czech Republic between 2000 and 2016, left Arsenal in 2016 to rejoin his hometown club Sparta Prague.

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