Frank Lampard has called time on his international career, announcing his retirement from England duty after winning 106 caps.
Since crashing out of the World Cup Finals at the group stage in the summer, captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from England duty, whilst Ashley Cole did likewise when he was overlooked for the squad prior to the tournament. And many expected Lampard to follow suit, especially when he decided to take the option to head to the United States and join New York City when his contract at Chelsea expired in June.
But when he then made a quick return to the Premier League by agreeing to join Manchester City on loan, it was thought part of his thinking was that this may allow him to extend his time in Roy Hodgson’s squad. However, the 36-year-old has now confirmed that he will no longer be available to Roy Hodgson, having decided to retire from international action.
“I have taken the decision to retire from international football,” Lampard confirmed. “It has been a very tough decision for me to make which is why I have given it so much thought since the World Cup. I have always been exceptionally proud and honoured to represent my country and have to say looking back I have enjoyed every minute of wearing the England shirt.
“Due to my club career now going in a different direction it is of utmost importance for me to consider my family first. Also, to concentrate on how I can perform consistently to the best of my abilities over my next few years in club football. It is now the time to move forward and I feel very confident that with Roy Hodgson in charge, the young players that we have coming through, and the changes that are being made throughout the development of the youth system in this country, that we will have success in the future and a team that this country deserves.
“I would like to thank all the managers that I have worked under, all the players that I have been fortunate enough to play alongside, and all the fans for their support, not only at home but on their travels with the team around the world. I now look forward to continuing to support the team as a fan and wish them every success for the upcoming campaign towards France 2016.”
Lampard won the first of his 106 international caps in a 2-1 friendly win over Belgium in October 1999, and his final appearance came when he captained the side in the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in the World Cup this summer. He retires at the joint-sixth most represented player for England of all time, and with 29 goals, he is the ninth top-goalscorer.