LONDON: Former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard announced his retirement from professional football on Thursday after spending last year with New York City in Major League Soccer in the United States.
Lampard, who started his career at West Ham United, established himself as one of Europe's finest midfield players during a 13-year spell at Chelsea.
"After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer," said Lampard in a statement. "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.
The former West Ham midfielder continued: "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, who was capped 106 times for England, is also Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer with 211 goals in over 400 appearances in all competitions.
The midfielder won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League during a trophy-laden spell at Chelsea.