Chelsea great, NYCFC playmaker Frank Lampard retires

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by Christian Araos

Frank Lampard will not return to the playing field.

The Chelsea legend and former member of New York City FC posted on his Instagram account today that he will be retiring to pursue his coaching certifications in England.

Lampard thanked Manchester City and New York City FC fans and the City Football Group for their support over the final three years of his 21-year playing career. He scored 15 goals in 31 appearances for NYCFC helping guide them to an appearance in last year’s MLS Cup Playoffs.

Although he received offers from both MLS and English clubs, the 38-year-old Lampard said it would be best for him to move onto the next chapter of his life.

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

Lampard began his career in West Ham United in 1995 before a loan spell with Swansea City and a move to Chelsea in 2001 where he would make more than 600 appearances before signing with CFG in 2014. He made more than 100 appearances with England appearing in three World Cups. In his career, he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.