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Ex-Arsenal player Rosicky retires, the last star in action from Nike's 2002 Secret Tournament

The former Czech international had been in action for Sparta Prague of late.

FORMER ARSENAL PLAYER Tomas Rosicky has brought the curtain down on his football career at the age of 37.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal - The Hawthorns Tomas Rosicky Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Rosicky, who has been plying his trade with Sparta Prague of late, made the announcement at a press conference today as he opted to bow out in the middle of the Czech club’s 2017-18 campaign.

The official Sparta Prague website reports that Rosicky felt he was no longer able for the physical requirements of the game.

“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.”

Rosicky’s retirement means  he is the last player from a 2002 tournament to bow out after Francesco Totti retired in July and Ronaldinho announced his plan to hang up his boots in December.

The trio were the last players still in action from Nike’s famous advert before the 2002 World Cup that saw 24 of the best players in the world battle it out in a cage in a 3 v 3 tournament under the watchful eye of referee Eric Cantona.

Source: arthur martins/YouTube

Rosicky had first established himself at Sparta Prague between 1998 and 2001, winning three Czech titles with them, before moving on to Borussia Dortmund where he was part of their Bundesliga success in 2002.

He was then signed by Arsenal in 2006 and spent a decade with Arsene Wenger’s side as he won FA Cup medals in 2014 and 2015.

Rosicky lined out for the Czech Republic on 105 occasions and bagged 23 goals for his country.

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Fintan O'Toole

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