I am tearing up as I write this article. One of my all-time favourite players and childhood hero has retired from football.
Tomáš Rosický will no longer grace our TV screens with his delicate touch, mesmerizing dribbling, pinpoint crosses, and sumptuous strikes. The former Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund player, now 37, has returned to his home club Sparta Prague to conclude a romantic journey across Europe.
Perhaps Rosický’s career could’ve been even better. An international with over 100 caps for the Czech Repubulic, he didn’t win as many trophies, play in as in many games, or make as much an impact as his talent otherwise might have warranted. Nonetheless, he has won the hearts of many football fans for the amazing footballer that he was. Watching Rosický play was one of the fondest memories of my childhood. How can you not enjoy watching ‘Little Mozart’ play? In the words of Arsene Wenger, “If you love football, you love Rosický.”
When Rosický signed for Borussia Dortmund on 9th of January in 2001, he was the most-expensive player in club history. The native of Prague was also labelled ‘The next Zidane’ at the time. He won the Bundesliga trophy in his first season, but the club’s financial problems meant he was not able to enjoy a successful stint in Germany any further. However, he is still fondly remembered by the Dortmund faithful. His goal against Hamburg, when he started celebrating before even scoring the goal, will never be forgotten.
Guess what picture the club’s official account used in their farewell tweet?
Rosický grabbed more attention when he represented the Czech Republic in Euro 2004. He was part of the golden generation that contained Jan Koller, Pavel Nedved, Milan Baros, Peter Cech, Vladmir Smicer, and Marek Heinz.
In the summer of 2006, Rosický left a struggling Dortmund side to join English giants Arsenal, who had just moved into a new stadium, The Emirates. He was to have a mixed career at his new home. On one hand, he was responsible for the success of the Gunners in that period; on the other, his recurrent injury problem left him sidelined for many games and curtailed what could have been a glorious era.
I am sure Arsenal fans will never get tired of watching Rosický’s goal against archrival Tottenham Hotspur, though.
Tomas Rosicky has retired from Professional football. They don't make them like him anymore. Injuries held him back, but even then he had an amazing career. His goal vs Spurs was such a special goal. Arsenal legend #afc pic.twitter.com/x2t5XMzbwi
— Renato (@th14Renato) December 20, 2017
His farewell at Arsenal was also memorable, and the club was quick to send their gratitude to Rosický following his retirement.
When I look back at Rosický’s career, I can’t help but wonder what he would’ve been able to achieve without injuries hindering his game time. I immediately shake that off and am grateful for the times I was able to watch him do what he does best. He may not have been the best, but he certainly is the most-loved player of his generation. Farewell to the man who made me love Borussia Dortmund and the Bundesliga.
Farewell to the Little Mozart!