Frank Lampard has retired from soccer.
The most prolific goalscoring midfielder of his generation, the 38-year old has today opted to bring down the curtain on his glorious, trophy-laden 21-year playing career.
In a statement released on Instagram, Lampard revealed that he will now study for his coaching qualifications with the English Football Association.
He said: “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.
“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.”
Signed by New York City FC on 1 July 2014, Frank made 31 appearances for the club, scoring 15 goals.
He assured his place in club history with the team’s first-ever hat-trick against Colorado Rapids on July 30, 2016 which helped NYCFC towards the MLS Playoffs for the very first time.
Lampard represented West Ham United, Swansea City, Chelsea, Manchester City and New York City FC since making his professional debut in 1995.
He played more than 600 games for Chelsea where he is the club’s record goalscorer, winning the Premier League (3), the FA Cup (4), the League Cup (2), the UEFA Champions League (1) and the UEFA Europa League (1) in his time at Stamford Bridge.
Frank retired from international football with England following the 2014 World Cup shortly after he joined an elite band of players to reach 100 caps.
In all, he scored 29 goals for the Three Lions from 1999-2014.
Everyone at New York City FC would like to wish Frank all the best in retirement.