Former England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard announces retirement

Frank Lampard has announced the end of his 21-year playing career.

The former England and Chelsea midfielder last played for New York City FC and left the Major League Soccer franchise at the end of last year.

After coming through the youth ranks at boyhood club West Ham United, Lampard moved to Chelsea in 2001 for 11 million. During his 13 years at Stamford Bridge, he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2011-12 Champions League.

He left the club in 2014, by which time he had become their record goal scorer. He spent the 2014-15 season back in the Premier League at Manchester City -- scoring against his former club in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium -- before moving to NYCFC.

"After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer," the 38-year-old wrote in an Instagram post.

"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."

100 - Frank Lampard is one of three players to record both 100+ goals & 100+ assists in PL history (also Ryan Giggs & Wayne Rooney). Elite.

- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 2, 2017

Lampard had received offers to continue playing, he said, but will now assess future opportunities.

"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," he said. "Looking forward, I'm grateful to the FA (Football Association) for the opportunity to study for my coaching qualifications and I look forward to pursuing the off-field opportunities that this decision opens."

Lampard thanked West Ham, the club which gave him his debut in 1996, and City, and he had particular words for Chelsea.

106 caps. 29 goals. 1 Frank Lampard.#threelions

- England (@England) February 2, 2017

He scored 211 times for the Blues -- 177 in the Premier League -- and won every major club honour, netting goals that in 2005 helped secure the club's first championship title in 50 years.

"The largest part of my heart belongs to Chelsea, a club which has given me so many great memories," he wrote. "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."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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