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Former England international and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has called it quits. The 38-year-old retired from soccer on Thursday, ending a career of over 20 years. He announced the decision on Instagram.

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 Feb 2, 2017 at 2:56am PST

Here’s a look a back at his unbelievable career.

Starting off

Lampard began his career at West Ham United, playing six years with the Hammers, but made his actual professional debut when on loan at Swansea City 21 years ago, before moving to Chelsea in 2001.

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Chelsea days

Lampard played 13 seasons at Chelsea, scoring 211 goals in 648 matches and was the face of the club when it gained prominence following Russian businessman Roman Abramovich’s purchase of the club in 2003.

He won three Premier League crowns, four FA Cups, two league cups, a Europa League and of course that magical night in Munich in 2012, when Chelsea won the Champions League for the first time ever against Bayern Munich.

Chelsea went as Lampard went, and that was to the top.

Lampard, always one of the most upstanding, professional players in the world, was one of the world’s best in his prime. In fact, it’s hard to name a better goal-scoring midfielder in recent memory than Lampard. Maybe, just maybe, Ronaldinho?

Bittersweet moment

After departing Chelsea to join NYCFC, he ended up at Manchester City for half a season. Of course, NYCFC and Man. City are under the same ownership.

So can you guess what happened when he played Chelsea for the first time since leaving? Yep, he scored.

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International career with England

106 appearances and 29 goals for England, Lampard was a star in the middle alongside Steven Gerrard. But his most famous moment in world soccer might just be how he and England were robbed against Germany in the 2010 World Cup.

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In the end, with more ups than downs and tons of trophies and goals, the world of soccer says goodbye to a legend, to a top professional and to one heck of a midfielder.


Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Frank Lampard retires: A look back at the Chelsea legend’s brilliant career