Lampard announces international retirement

New York City veteran midfielder Frank Lampard has retired from international duty in order to prolong his club career, Sky Sports has confirmed.

The 36-year-old made the announcement in a statement, describing how tough a decision it had been to reach, and expressing his pride and enjoyment of a lengthy and distinguished period of international service.

Lampard left Chelsea this summer after 14 glittering years at Stamford Bridge, and joined new MLS franchise New York City. However, he is back in England having immediately been loaned to Manchester City for the first half of the season. Lampard cited this change in circumstances as a telling reason behind his decision to make himself unavailable for future England selection.

“Due to my club career now going in a different direction, it is of the utmost importance for me to consider my family first and also to concentrate on how I can perform consistently to the best of my abilities over my next few years in club football,” he said.

While Lampard will never again pull on the famous white shirt, he feels he has left the national team with great hopes for the future, saying: “It is now the time to move forward and I feel very confident that, with Roy Hodgson in charge, the young players that we have coming through, and the changes that are being made throughout the development of the youth system in this country, we will have success in the future and a team that this country deserves.”

Lampard made his England bow in a 2-1 friendly victory over Belgium in 1999, and went on to win 106 caps putting him sixth on the list of England’s all-time appearance makers, one ahead of legendary captain Billy Wright.

His final England appearance came in the recent World Cup match against Costa Rica, with England already out of the tournament.

Among many notable moments in his international career, Lampard may be remembered for hastening the development of goal-line technology after his infamous ‘ghost goal’ against Germany in the 2010 World Cup, when his long-range shot clearly crossed the line but no goal was given.

However, Lampard did manage 29 strikes that counted in his England career. He follows fellow midfield stalwart Steven Gerrard into international retirement.

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