NYCFC’s Frank Lampard bids farewell to international soccer

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

New York City F.C.’s Frank Lampard has been a fixture with England for well over a decade. Now, he says goodbye to the international stage.

The legendary Three Lions player announced his international retirement on Tuesday. He leaves England as the sixth-most capped player in history with 106 international appearances and 26 goals to his name.

“It has been a very tough decision for me to make, which is why I have given it so much thought since the World Cup,” Lampard said in a statement.

The 36-year-old midfielder is just the latest legend to leave the English squad, marking a change of guard in their program.

“It is now the time to move forward and I feel very confident that with Roy Hodgson in charge, the young players that we have coming through, and the changes that are being made throughout the development of the youth system in this country, that we will have success in the future and a team that this country deserves.”

Former captain Steven Gerrard announced his international departure in July.

The move, Lampard says, will free him to concentrate on his new club career in MLS, where he joins fellow Designated Player David Villa in the Bronx for NYCFC’s inaugeral 2015 season.

“Due to my club career now going in a different direction, it is of utmost importance for me to consider my family first,” Lampard said. “Also, to concentrate on how I can perform consistently to the best of my abilities over my next few years in club football.”

Like the rest of his NYCFC teammates, Lampard currently finds himself on loan; this time with former Premiership foe, Manchester City. He is set to join his new club this January.