Frank Lampard el dia que es va acomiadar de l'afició del Chelsea, l'estiu del 2014 (Reuters)
Una de les grans figures del futbol anglès ha anunciat aquest dijous que es retira. Es tracta de Frank Lampard. L'internacional anglès, de 38 anys, deixa la pràctica activa del futbol després d'haver-se desvinculat aquest mateix hivern del New York City.
Lampard, però, és més conegut per la seva estada al Chelsea, on va arribar procedent del West Ham. Fill de jugador professional, aviat Lampard va ser detectat com una de les grans promeses del futbol anglès. Amb els "blues" va jugar 13 temporades, i es va consolidar com a màxim golejador de la història del club, amb 211 gols en totes les competicions. Amb l'equip londinenc, Lampard va guanyar la Copa d'Europa del 2012 i l'Europa League de l'any següent, a més de 3 lligues i 4 copes.
"Tot i que he rebut propostes interessants per continuar, als 38 anys sento que és el moment de començar el pròxim capítol de la meva vida", admet Lampard en un missatge a les xarxes socials. Tot fa pensar, segons insinua ell mateix, que el següent capítol serà a les banquetes.
L'anunci de la retirada de Frank Lampard arriba dos mesos després que una altra llegenda del futbol anglès, Steven Gerrard, també va comunicar que penjava les botes.
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.