Lampard leaving Chelsea

  • Last Updated: June 2 2014, 20:53 BST

Frank Lampard has confirmed he will seek a new challenge after returning from the World Cup in Brazil after bringing an end to his 13-year association with Chelsea.

Frank Lampard: Leaving Chelsea after 13 years
Frank Lampard: Leaving Chelsea after 13 years

The 35-year-old issued a statement on Monday evening in which he revealed he has played his last game for the Blues.

Lampard has already been linked with a move to New York City FC but his England team-mates are convinced he still has a future at the highest level.

Fellow England midfielder James Milner said: "He's not finished yet. He's still got that quality and still has the goals, so I am sure he'll have plenty of offers and he will choose what is right.

"Players have ups and downs in their career, but every season he delivers and the example is set for the younger players coming in.

"Since I've been in the England squad he's been a top player, a top pro and that's exactly what we need going into a major tournament."

Lampard gave no immediate indication as to what the future might hold, instead choosing to thank those who helped him make such a success of his Stamford Bridge career.

Lampard said: "When I arrived at this fantastic club 13 years ago I would never have believed that I would be fortunate enough to play so many games and enjoy sharing in so much success.

"This club has become part of my life and I have so many people to thank for the opportunity. Firstly, Ken Bates, who put his neck on the line to sign me as a young player and without him I would not have even begun this experience.

"Roman Abramovich, the man who saved our club and took us all to new levels. His desire to push the club to the top of the football world has rubbed off on everyone.

"All the managers and coaches who have helped me develop my game during the time I have been here. I have learnt from every one of them.

"All the brilliant team-mates who I have been lucky enough to train and play alongside for so long. Not just their football qualities but also the friendships I have gained along the way.

"I'd also like to give a special mention to all the staff and people behind the scenes at the club who do not receive the glory but without them the club would simply not function.

"The club will move forward, and as a Chelsea man I have no doubt that with the quality of the players that are there, they will continue with the success that we have all enjoyed over the past seasons."

Lampard joined the Blues in 2001 after six seasons at Upton Park and went on to make 648 appearances and become the club's all-time top goalscorer with 211 in all competitions.

During his time at Stamford Bridge, Lampard won the Champions League, the Europa League, three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups.

The England international formed a vital part of the spine of the team built by Jose Mourinho after the arrival of owner Abramovich alongside the likes of John Terry, Petr Cech and Didier Drogba.

Drogba left the Blues in 2012 and, while Terry has penned a new deal after an impressive season, Cech's place is likely to come under threat from the returning Thibaut Courtois.

Left-back Ashley Cole has left the club after his contract ran out and Mourinho appears to be reshaping his squad after a third-placed finish in last season's Barclays Premier League.

Lampard went on to pay tribute to the Chelsea supporters, adding: "Finally and most importantly, I would like to thank the Chelsea fans.

"I believe they are the greatest fans in world football. You have supported me from the moment I arrived. Not only on the pitch, but in difficult moments in my personal life off the pitch. I will never forget.

"I feel honoured to have shared so many special times with you. Bolton, Amsterdam, Munich, the list goes on and on. I, and we as a team, could not have achieved those moments without your support.

"Whatever the next challenge is for me I will always be amongst you and have Chelsea in my home and in my heart. Hopefully I will get to see you all soon to say goodbye properly.

"In the meantime thank you for the memories and keep making history!"

England goalkeeper Ben Foster, who like Milner is currently with Lampard at England's pre-World Cup training camp in Miami, also paid a rich tribute.

"Not only as a player, as a person as well he is so professional," added Foster. "He always goes about his business very well.

"He has been a great servant for the club - and not only the club but England as well.

"He is a great guy and he's somebody that as an England team we are very lucky to have amongst us."

Frank Lampard Factfile:

1978: June 21 - Born, Romford, son of former West Ham defender Frank Lampard senior.

1995: Joins West Ham as a trainee.

October - Loaned out to Swansea.

1996: Makes his full debut as a second-half substitute against Sheffield Wednesday at Upton Park in May.

1997: August - Nets his first senior goal in the 2-1 win over Barnsley at Oakwell.

1999: October - Makes full debut for England when he starts in the 2-1 friendly win over Belgium at Sunderland.

2000: June - Captains England Under-21s at the European Championship in Slovakia.

2001: May - Claims he wants to quit West Ham after boss Harry Redknapp and his father, Redknapp's assistant, leave the club.

June 11 - Moves to Chelsea in an £11million transfer.

September 16 - Sent off for throwing a punch at Chris Perry in the 3-2 victory against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

September 23 - Fined two weeks' wages after a Sunday newspaper publishes revelations of a drunken incident in a Heathrow hotel with team-mates Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jody Morris, John Terry and Leicester's former Chelsea defender Frank Sinclair.

2004: June 24 - Scores extra-time equaliser in Euro 2004 quarter-final against Portugal but England lose on penalties.

September 19 - Sets new Premier League record for an outfield player of 114 consecutive appearances in Chelsea's clash with Tottenham.

2005: April 28 - Voted Professional Footballers' Association Fans' Player of the Year.

April 30 - Scores twice against Bolton as Chelsea seal the Barclays Premiership title.

November 26 - Breaks record with 160th consecutive appearance in the Premier League.

November 28 - Second behind Barcelona's Ronaldinho as European footballer of the year.

December 19 - Second behind Ronaldinho as FIFA's world player of the Year.

December 28 - Run of consecutive Premier League matches ends at 164 as a virus rules him out of Chelsea's away match against Manchester City.

2006: April 29 - Wins back-to-back Premiership titles after a 3-0 victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

2007: February 25 - Wins Carling Cup with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium.

March 19 - Victim of an attempted attack on the pitch by a fan after Chelsea's 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

2008: March 12 - Scores four goals in Chelsea's 6-1 win over Derby.

April 24 - Mother Pat dies.

August 13 - Signs a new five-year contract with Chelsea.

2009: January 17 - Captains Chelsea in his 400th appearance for the club with Terry ruled out by a late injury.

May 30 - His 20th goal of the season is the winner in the FA Cup final, 2-1 over Everton.

September 9 - Scores twice as 5-1 win over Croatia secures England's place in 2010 World Cup.

2010: February 9 - Captains England in friendly against Denmark.

March 27 - Four goals in 7-1 rout of Aston Villa puts Lampard on 20 for a fifth straight season and 151 for Chelsea, third all-time.

May 15 - Helps Chelsea retain FA Cup with 1-0 victory over Portsmouth.

2011: September 2 - Left out of starting line-up against Bulgaria, the first competitive England match he did not start for four years when fit.

November 12 - Captains England and scores only goal in 1-0 win over world champions Spain.

2012: February 25 - Having struggled to hold down a place for Chelsea, publicly admits to problems with Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas.

April 9 - Scores his 150th Premier League goal in 1-1 draw with Fulham.

May 19 - Captains Chelsea to victory in the Champions League final. Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties, Lampard scoring, after a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich.

May 31 - Ruled out of Euro 2012 with a thigh strain.

2013: January 7: Agent Steve Kutner claims Lampard will not be offered a new Chelsea contract before his deal runs out in the summer.

March 17 - Scores his 200th Chelsea goal against former club West Ham.

May 11 - Breaks Bobby Tambling's Chelsea record of 202 goals as he scores twice at Aston Villa.

May 15 - Chelsea win the Europa League, beating Benfica 2-1 in Amsterdam.

May 16 - Signs a one-year extension to his Chelsea contract.

2014: June 2 - Having played sporadically under returning boss Jose Mourinho and scored seven goals in the season, announces he will be leaving Chelsea.

Lampard's Top Ten Goals:

:: v Bayern Munich (won 4-2), Champions League, Stamford Bridge, April 6, 2005: After his goal against Barcelona helped Chelsea advance to the quarter-finals, Lampard scored twice in the 4-2 first-leg defeat of Bayern. His second was a piledriver, controlling a cross from Claude Makelele on his chest before swivelling and powering a half-volley past Oliver Kahn.

:: v Bolton (won 2-0), Premier League, Reebok Stadium, April 30, 2005: Scored twice to seal Chelsea's first league title triumph in 50 years. The second was a sublime counter-attacking goal as he raced on to Makelele's through-ball, charged on into the area and rounded Jussi Jaaskelainen before tucking in to spark scenes of jubilation.

:: v Barcelona (drew 2-2), Champions League, Nou Camp, October 31, 2006: Lampard levelled in the 52nd minute with a delightful piece of skill. Initially he miscontrolled a pass from Makelele and was driven wide of goal. It looked an impossible angle, tight to the touchline, but somehow he curled a chip over Victor Valdes and inside the back post.

:: v Everton (won 3-2), Premier League, Goodison Park, December 17, 2006: Renowned for his ability to strike from the edge of the area, Lampard's goal at Goodison Park was one of his best. Salomon Kalou found him in the left channel and, with limited options and defenders in front of him, Lampard unleashed a shot which flew into the top corner.

:: v Liverpool (won 3-2), Champions League, second leg, Stamford Bridge, April 30, 2008: Grieving from the death of his mother a week earlier, Lampard netted an emotional penalty in the first half of extra-time before Didier Drogba's winner earned Chelsea a 4-3 aggregate win and a place in the Champions League final. Manchester United won in Moscow on penalties.

:: v Hull (won 3-0), Premier League, KC Stadium, October 29, 2008: Scored a delicate chip which prompted World Cup-winning Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari of Brazil to say: "It was one of the best goals I have seen in my life." Lampard displayed perfect technique to chip over the stranded Boaz Myhill for his 99th career league goal.

:: v Everton (won 2-1), FA Cup, Wembley, May 30, 2009: His 20th of the season was the decisive strike at Wembley, as Chelsea responded to conceding the fastest goal in FA Cup final history to Louis Saha in Guus Hiddink's last match as boss. Lampard was assisted by a slight slip as he checked inside Phil Neville, allowing him a couple of extra seconds to drill in left-footed from 20 yards.

:: v West Ham (drew 1-1), Premier League, Upton Park, December 20, 2009: Showed the nerve which has made him one of England's finest players to rescue a point which took Chelsea four points clear at the top of the table at Christmas. Encroaching players meant Lampard had to take a penalty three times - he scored each of them.

:: v Stoke (won 7-0), Premier League, Stamford Bridge, April 25, 2010: Used instinct to meet a cross from the right from Sam Hutchinson with the outside of his right foot at the far post. He redirected the ball across goal and past Asmir Begovic. He also scored in the wins over Liverpool and Wigan which secured the league title by a single point.

:: v Napoli (won 4-1), Champions League, Stamford Bridge, March 14, 2012: Netted a crucial penalty as three members of the old guard scored - Didier Drogba and John Terry were also on target - to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit and claim a 5-4 last-16 aggregate win, 11 days after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas. The Blues went on to lift the trophy.