Petr Cech column: Timeless Thiago and the pain of retirement

My decision to retire

When you decide to retire, there are usually one of three reasons why:

1. Your body can’t perform at the highest level anymore because it has deteriorated as you get older.
2. You have had enough mentally – enough of the same routine, travelling, training, hotel, pressure, demands – and you have fallen out of love with the game.
3. You want to carry on, you have the same motivation, but your body tells you to stop.

You must consider all three when you’re getting older. The race is against your age and the fact the body could lose its performance.

In my case it was my body that told me to stop. I played in pain every day for the last two years. It was my ankle and my Achilles. It never went away, and it just got worse, even in normal life.

I realised the pleasure of being on the pitch, being part of a team and playing in the best league in the world was keeping me going, but it was the moment to give the body a break. If you feel like you can’t enjoy anything because of the pain, it’s time to stop.