Chelsea legend Lampard hangs up boots

Former West Ham, Chelsea, Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard has announced his retirement from professional football.

The former England international, who is best known for his time with Chelsea, left MLS side New York City FC in August following the expiration of his contract.

The 38-year-old recently revealed that he had received multiple offers to play in England and abroad.

However, he announced his retirement on his Facebook page today: “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.”

Lampard thanked all of his former clubs in his message but reserved a special mention for Chelsea, with whom he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League.

“I have many people to thank,” Lampard added. “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 New York City FC. 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 Football Club, 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 myself and my team-mates 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.”

Lampard progressed through West Ham’s academy and made his senior debut in the 1995-96 season.  He joined Chelsea in 2001 and went on to spend 13 years with the club. During his time with the West London club, he became their record goalscorer with 211 goals in all competitions.

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