At the age of 38, and after a career of remarkable success and relentless achievement, Frank Lampard has announced his retirement as a player with a clear hint that he will move into management.
The Football Association, through technical director Dan Ashworth, is in talks with Lampard over his future with the organisation extremely keen that at least one of the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ will be fast-tracked and eventually work within the England set-up.
Lampard appears the most likely candidate. Discussions have already taken place with Steven Gerrard – who also recently retired and began a coaching career with the Liverpool academy this week – and Rio Ferdinand while Lampard has always been earmarked as a potential future manager.
The timing of his retirement comes as no surprise with Lampard having considered his options after playing what has now turned out to be his final competitive match, for New York City, in the Major League Soccer play-offs in the US, last November.
There were offers to return to play in England, including from Premier League clubs such as Swansea City, but Lampard suggested in an interview last weekend that he was close to retiring and did not feel he would carry on – even if it would be difficult to call it a day for such a fierce competitor.
Lampard won the Champions League, three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and the Europa League with Chelsea
That was confirmed in a social media post, on Instagram, on Thursday morning which led to a flurry of tributes for Lampard who has won every club honour possible – with Chelsea – during his 21-year career which also took in spells at West Ham United, his first club, and Manchester City.
There were also 106 England caps for the midfielder who played 1,019 matches in total, scoring a remarkable 302 goals. As with others from that ‘Golden Generation’ his international career was less glittering, however, and that gnawed away.
Lampard is also Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer, with 211 goals in 649 appearances, and captained the club in their greatest achievement – winning the 2012 Champions League final, when he played a pivotal role – and in the Europa League final the following season.