Chelsea great Lampard ends 13-year spell at club

Mon Jun 2, 2014 3:54pm EDT
 
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea will have a massive void to fill in midfield next season after the club's all-time record goalscorer Frank Lampard announced on Monday he was ending his 13-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

The England World Cup player, who joined the Premier League club from London rivals West Ham United in 2001 for a fee of 11 million pounds ($18.43 million), scored 211 goals in all competitions for Chelsea.

"Whatever the next challenge is for me I will always be amongst you and have Chelsea in my heart," Lampard told the club's fans in a statement.

"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."

Lampard, who turns 36 on June 20 and will be England's vice-captain at the World Cup in Brazil, is out of contract and has been linked with a move to new Major League Soccer franchise New York City.

The New York club announced earlier on Monday that Spain World Cup forward David Villa had signed on a three-year deal from Atletico Madrid.

Lampard won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League with Chelsea.

"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.   Continued...

 
Chelsea's Frank Lampard acknowledges crowd at end of his team's Champion's League semi-final first leg soccer match against Atletico Madrid at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, April 22, 2014 file photo.    REUTERS/Darren Staples