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 joined Chelsea from West Ham in 2001. His club-record 211 goals helped the Blues win the Champions League, three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and a Community Shield.
The midfielder played a pivotal role as Jose Mourinho’s side delivered Chelsea’s first top-flight title in half a century, scoring 13 goals including both in the 2-0 win over Bolton in April 2005 that proved the league-winning victory.
He added a career-high 16 league goals the following season as Chelsea retained their title, finishing runner-up to Barcelona forward Ronaldinho in both the Ballon d’Or and Fifa World Player of the Year awards.
Lampard scored 10 or more Premier League goals in 10 successive seasons for Chelsea, reaching 22 as he collected a third Premier League winner’s medal in 2009-10.
A Champions League success finally followed in 2011-12 as Lampard captained the side to a penalty shootout win over Bayern Munich in the absence of the suspended John Terry.
“He was definitely a world-class player for a long period of time,” said BBC football analyst and former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin. “I don’t think we rate him as highly as we should do.
“He is kind of remembered just for scoring goals. That he was phenomenal at, just worldly at scoring goals from midfield. There are very few people on the planet who can score that number of goals from midfield.
“He was a better all-round footballer than he was given credit for. When he was moved further back at the end of his career for Chelsea, he realized that his passing, short and long, was exceptional.”
Frank Lampard may have played a key role in bringing success back to Stamford Bridge, but he was unable to help replicate that trophy-laden touch with the national side.
He made his England debut against Belgium in 1999, going on to win the same amount of caps as Sir Bobby Charlton, but missed out on a place in both the Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002 squads.
Lampard scored three times as England reached the Euro 2004 quarter-finals, and finding a way to fit him and Steven Gerrard into the same midfield was seen as the solution to the national side’s problems.
The pair formed the core of what was tagged England’s ‘golden generation’, but both missed a penalty in a World Cup quarter-final shootout defeat by Portugal in 2006 and England failed to qualify for the Euros two years later.
A last-16 exit followed against Germany in the 2010 World Cup and Frank Lampard missed Euro 2012 through injury, before playing his final major tournament for England in Brazil in 2014, when England went out in the group stage.
“From an England point of view he was pretty spectacular, his attitude for England was fantastic,” added Nevin. “There were times when he got a lot of stick. He still got all those caps and still scored a whole bunch of goals.”
Source: BBC Sports