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2nd February 2017, 19:43 #1
Frank Lampard: Former Chelsea & England midfielder retires
Former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard has retired, bringing to an end a 21-year professional career.
The 38-year-old, who spent last year with New York City in Major League Soccer in the US, announced his decision on social media on Thursday.
Lampard made 649 appearances for Chelsea and won 106 England caps.
"Whilst I have received a number of exciting offers to continue playing, at 38 I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my life," said Lampard.
"I'm grateful to the 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."
He won 11 major trophies, including three Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2012. Lampard also won four FA Cups, two League Cups and the Europa League.
Lampard's retirement statement in full
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 myself and my teammates 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.
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Man I loved watching him play. Free-kicks, long shots, poaching, headers, long pass, through pass, tackling and work rate. A true box-to-box midfielder and a Chelsea legend. Congrats on a great career!
"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle