Sports

Lampard says goodbye to Chelsea

Rumours swirl about his impending move to US soccer

Frank Lampard has announced that there will be no additional chapters to his 13-year Chelsea story.

He'll be leaving the club when his contract ends at the end of June.

AFP reported that the 35-year-old made his decision after Chelsea offered him a new deal but on reduced terms.

While several media reports say his representatives held talks in New York City over a potential move to the Major League Soccer in the USA next March, at least 10 other clubs are interested in signing the England star.

He is currently with the England team in Miami as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

With 211 goals in 649 appearances for Chelsea, he is the club's record all-time goal-scorer.

His legacy

Spending 13 seasons at Stamford Bridge (Chelsea's home ground) established him as a Chelsea legend after winning three Premier Leagues titles, one Champions League, four FA Cups and two League Cups.

Despite his age, he still featured prominently for Chelsea last season, making 40 appearances and scoring eight goals in all competitions. 

Leaving with a heavy heart

He admitted it was heartwrenching to leave Chelsea after so many happy memories and he paid tribute to current owner Roman Abramovich, as well as the former chariman who was in charge when he was signed from West Ham in 2001.

“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,” he said in a statement released by his agent.

“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."

Source: AFP