Cech wants Europa League glory as Arsenal retirement gift

The veteran goalkeeper will be hanging up his gloves at the end of the season and is hoping to bow out with another major honour to his name

Petr Cech, who will be hanging up his gloves in the summer, is hoping to see Arsenal deliver Europa League glory as a fitting retirement gift.

The veteran goalkeeper has announced the current campaign will be his last.

He will turn 37 shortly after the 2018-19 Premier League season comes to a close and feels the time is right to walk away.

Cech has enjoyed a trophy-laden career, with domestic and European silverware collected on a regular basis during a previous spell at Chelsea.

He has also lifted another FA Cup while at Arsenal, but hopes there is one more triumph to take in before he calls it quits.

Ahead of Thursday’s first-leg meeting with BATE in the last 32, Cech has expressed a desire to go all the way in Europe and grace another showpiece event in Baku on May 29.

He said: “Of course, that would be an ideal scenario for me to finish my career.

“We prepare every day for every competition and this is what we are aiming for. We try to win every game and progress step by step and as a club it is important for us to try and go as far as possible.

“Winning the Europa League is a great memory for everyone involved and secondly it can book you a place in the Champions League so there is a lot to play for.”

Cech has been involved in a successful Europa League campaign before.

A year on from helping Chelsea to Champions League glory, more continental success was savoured in 2013.

He is hoping there will be more to come as he winds down a distinguished career which has taken him to the very top of the game.

“It might be the last time I am in the competition, but I prepare for the game like I did through my whole career,” added Cech.

“I don’t think if it is my last game in the competition or not.”

Arsenal are set to be greeted by freezing conditions when they face BATE in Belarus, but Unai Emery says that will be no excuse for his players not to put in a positive performance.

The Spaniard, who has travelled without Mesut Ozil, said: “We played against Vorskla in Kiev when it was below zero and snowing. It’s not an excuse for us, the weather or the pitch. We play 90 minutes that are the same for them and for us.

“My thoughts are that every match is a big challenge.

“In the Premier League, Carabao Cup, FA Cup and now in the Europa League. Our target is clear: to play next year in the Champions League.

“But we know it’s not easy. We have two ways now, one is the Europa League and to win it is very difficult.

“We know it’s a very big challenge, this last 32 against BATE and then we have to win other matches.”

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