Chelsea legend Frank Lampard announces retirement

The former Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder won three league titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League

Frank Lampard, Chelsea

Image: Martin Rickett / PA Wire/PA Images

Champions League winner and Chelsea icon Frank Lampard has today announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 38, bringing to an end a glittering 21-year career.

The former England international was central to Chelsea's title winning sides in the mid-2000s, winning three domestic titles in this time. During his time with the club he also won four FA Cups, one Europa League trophy and a Champions League medal in 2012.

He accrued 106 international caps, scoring 29 times for his country and racked up more than 300 career goals.

In a statement today released on his social media, Lampard thanked his family, his team-mates and West Ham United football club who gave him his debut back in 1996.

Frank Lampard holds aloft the Champions League trophy in May 2012. Image: Adam Davy / EMPICS Sport

"After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer," he wrote. "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."

Lampard began his career at West Ham and made almost 150 appearances for the club before moving to Chelsea. Here he would carve out a name for himself as one of the finest midfielders of his generation.

In 2013, he broke Bobby Tambling's all-time goal-scoring record and remains top of the pile with 211 goals in all competitions for Chelsea.

Toward the end of his career, he moved to the MLS to play for New York City FC and also lined out for Premier League side Manchester City.

 

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.

A video posted by Frank Lampard (@franklampard) on