For many fans around the world, Thursday marks the end of an era in their soccer-viewing lives.
On an Instagram post Thursday morning, former New York City FC, Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard announced his retirement from his playing career. Lampard, who spent a season-and-a-half in MLS with NYCFC as a Designated Player, is widely considered to be one of the best midfield players to grace the game.
Lampard made his professional debut in October 1995 on loan at Swansea City in the English second division, and he’d later score his first goal against Brighton & Hove Albion. After six seasons at West Ham, in which he racked up 187 appearances and 39 goals while helping the Hammers to their best ever Premier League finish, ending the 1999 season in fifth. There he won his first title, winning the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup, before making an £11 million move to Chelsea in June 2001.
Chelsea was where Lampard made his name. Over 13 seasons for the Blues, Lampard would win title after title while racking up an incredible 211 goals in a massive total of 648 matches for the team. With Chelsea, Lampard won the Premier League in consecutive seasons in 2005 and 2006, while adding a third in 2010. He also captured four FA Cup titles in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2012, two Football League Cup titles in 2005 and 2007, two FA Community Shields in 2005 and 2009, a UEFA Europa League title in 2013, and finally, a UEFA Champions League title in 2012.
After being released by Chelsea in 2014, Lampard joined New York City FC on a two year deal, the first 6 months of which ended up taking the form of a controversial loan to Manchester City. He’d make 38 appearances and score 8 goals for Manchester City before finally making his way to MLS and NYCFC. With the newly formed team, Lampard made 31 appearances over a season and a half, scoring 15 goals and helping the team climb to its first playoff appearance in their second season.
Lampard also thrived on the international stage with England, debuting with the senior team in 1999 and scoring 29 goals over 106 caps for his country. He appeared in two Euros for England in 2004 and 2012, as well as three World Cups in 2006, 2010, and 2014.
Lampard has stated that he is pursuing his coaching badges and will likely continue his career in football in a managerial capacity.