Tomas Rosicky announced his immediate retirement from playing yesterday, and we’re all a little saddened by the news.
On his day, the former Arsenal star was simply sensational – and was even dubbed “Little Mozart” by fans at the Emirates for his effortless ability to orchestrate the midfield with a mixture of flair and style.
Sadly, his career will most likely be remembered for his frustratingly-long spells off the pitch through injury, with the Czech midfielder missing an eye-watering 990 days in total at Arsenal through rehabilitation.
Speaking at a press conference to announce his retirement, the Sparta Prague player said: “After careful consideration, I have realised I am no longer able to fully prepare my body for what the 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.
“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.”
As you’d expect, tributes to the 37-year-old have been all over social media since:
And Jack Wilshere heaped special praise on Rosicky, describing him as one of the best players that he played with during his career.
Speaking via the Gunners official channel, Wilshere said: “This is me being deadly serious, he is one of the best I’ve played with in terms of what I wanted to be as a player.
“He picked the ball up and he drove at the opposition, not many players do that from midfield.
“You always think of a winger or a striker, but he used to pick the ball up in midfield and just want to create things.
“He had that yard of pace with the ball that got him away from defenders, that’s what I wanted to do.”
You’re not wrong, Jack.