Former Chelsea midfield maestro Frank Lampard has retired from football, bringing an end to his 21-year professional career.
The 38-year-old, who spent last season with New York City in Major League Soccer announced his retirement on Instagram where he posted a message giving thanks to those who played part in his career.
Lampard wrote on his Instagram handle
“After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer. Whilst I have received a number of exciting offers to continue playing at home and abroad, at 38 I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my life. I’m immensely proud of the trophies I’ve won, of representing my country over 100 times and of scoring more than 300 career goals.”
“I have many people to thank. I thank my parents for instilling in me the values of hard work, dedication and professionalism, values which I have carried with me in everything that I do. I am forever grateful for the support of my family, my wife Christine and my two daughters Luna and Isla. What you have given me off the pitch has always been my strength on it. I love you all very much. Also, my friends and my own team that have always been there for me. I would like to thank the amazing team-mates, coaches, managers and backroom staff that I was privileged to work with. I’d also like to pay tribute to the clubs that I have represented. Firstly, West Ham United who gave me my debut in 1996. Thanks to the people there that believed in me at that young age. More recently Manchester City and NYCFC. I greatly enjoyed my last playing years at these two clubs and really appreciate the support I received from City Football Group and both clubs’ fans.”
“Of course, the largest part of my heart belongs to Chelsea, a club which has given me so many great memories. I will never forget the opportunity they gave me and the success that we managed to achieve together. It is impossible to give thanks individually to all the people that helped and supported me in my 13 years playing there. All I can say is from the day I signed until now and going forward, I’m eternally grateful for everything and to everyone. Chelsea fans gave me and my teammate’s such incredible support. Their passion and hunger drove me on personally to give my best year after year. I couldn’t have done it without them.
Looking forward, I’m grateful to the FA for the opportunity to study for my coaching qualifications and I look forward to pursuing the off-field opportunities that this decision opens.”
The 38-year-old left Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2014, leaving with all-time goalscorer with 211 goals from 649 caps, a genuinely remarkable feat for a consummate midfield maestro.
He was a legend, a model of consistency, a genuine leader respected and admired by teammates and even the opposition
Lampard won a total of 11 major trophies, including Champions League in 2012,3 Premier League titles,2 League Cups,4 Fa Cups and the Europa League.
*Only Ryan Giggs (632) and Gareth Barry (615) have made more Premier League appearances than Lampard (609).
*His total of 177 goals is the Premier League’s fourth highest behind Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Andy Cole.
*He has scored more goals from outside the box than any other Premier League player (41).
*Lampard scored against a record 39 different teams in the Premier League.
*No England player has scored as many penalties as Lampard (nine), excluding shootouts.