Frank Lampard has announced retirement calling it an end to his 21-year playing career.
The former England and Chelsea midfielder last represented New York City FC and left the Major League Soccer club at the end of last year.
After emerging from the youth levels at boyhood club West Ham United, Lampard joined Chelsea in 2001 for £11 million. During his 13 long years at Stamford Bridge, he tasted the glory of three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2011-12 Champions League.
The Social Media was full of touching tributes.
After all those Chelsea battles & Frank Lampard now retiring, I can finally admit the respect I had for him & that he was a great player!
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 2, 2017
Happy retirement, Frank Lampard!
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 2, 2017
Frank Lampard has retired from professional football.
Amazing record for a midfielder.
It's Squawka Suggests pic.twitter.com/1aBDHncAui
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 2, 2017
Frank Lampard scored against 39 different teams in the Premier League, a record in the competition. His favourite opponents were Villa (13).
— Chelsea HQ (@Chelsea_HQ) February 2, 2017
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 2, 2017
Lampard left Chelsea in 2014, by then he had become the club’s record goal scorer. He spent the 2014-15 season back in the Premier League at Manchester City, scoring against his former club in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium, before making a switch to NYCFC.
“After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer,” the 38-year-old wrote in an Instagram post.
“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.”
Lampard had several offers to continue playing, he revealed, but has to now assess future opportunities.
“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,” he said. “Looking forward, I’m grateful to the FA (Football Association) for the opportunity to study for my coaching qualifications and I look forward to pursuing the off-field opportunities that this decision opens.”
Lampard thanked West Ham, the club for whom he made his debut in 1996, and Man City and had specifically Chelsea.