Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has announced that he will leave the west London club at the end of the season.
The veteran midfielder, who will turn 36 on June 20th, will call time on his Blues playing career after 13 years at Stamford Bridge, having not been able to agree an extension to his contract.
“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,” said Lampard in an emailed statement, viewable on the FA website.
“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 won 11 major trophies with the Blues, including three Premier League title triumphs and the 2012 UEFA Champions League.
While he is expected to join Spain’s record goalscorer David Villa at newly formed New York City FC, who will play their first MLS season in 2015, Lampard has offers from 16 clubs according to the BBC.
The Chelsea midfielder is expected to start for England in Wednesday’s friendly against Ecuador, and is part of Roy Hodgson’s 23 man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.