03 February, 2017
So when Frank Lampard announced his decision to retire from football at 38 years of age, it was clear that with every passing compliment, positive appraisal and endearing comparison that filtered through, he was rightfully claiming his final status as a genuine legend of the game.
"At 38 I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my life", he wrote on social media.
Chelsea's record goalscorer also played for West Ham, Manchester City and New York City FC, as well as having a loan spell at Swansea right at the start of his career.
A key member of England's squad for more than a decade, Lampard represented his country 106 times.
Lampard announced his decision to quit on Thursday just days after he said he was considering offers from the Premier League and elsewhere.
What's more, I can't remember anyone in recent times who scored so many of their goals from outside of the penalty box. Of those, 429 came during a 13-year spell at Chelsea - only five players have ever made more appearances in the competition for a single club. Firstly, West Ham United who gave me my debut in 1996.
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He has won 3 English Premier Leagues, 4 FA Cups, 1 UEFA Champions League, 1 Europa League and 2 English Football League Cups.
With Frank Lampard annoucing his retirement today we thought we'd revisit a classic clip from the other end of his long and storied career. The Hammers sold him to Chelsea in 2001 for £11 million, where he would spend the next 13 years and make 429 appearances.
In his statement, Lampard noted that he's now working with the FA to obtain coaching qualifications and that he "look [s] forward to pursuing the off-field opportunities that this decision opens".
He netted the goals in a win at Bolton which in 2005 secured the club's first championship title in 50 years.
He scored 41 Premier League goals from outside the box - more than any other player - and found the net against 39 different top-flight teams, another record.