Lampard retires - and Carragher finally admits his grudging respect


Frank Lampard announced his retirement from professional football on Thursday, bringing an end to an illustrious career spanning 21 years.

The former England, West Ham, Chelsea, Manchester City and New York City midfielder is best remembered for his 13 years at Stamford Bridge, during which time he won 11 major honours.

Lampard's club-record tally of 211 goals helped Chelsea to three Premier League titles, the Champions League, the Europa League and six domestic cup triumphs.

He won 106 caps for his country, and Thursday's announcement prompted former team-mates and rivals alike to pay tribute - with Liverpool's Jamie Carragher even having a few nice words to say about his old adversary.

Meanwhile, Lampard's long-term team-mate at Cheslea, John Terry, paid this tribute on Instagram:

"Frank Lampard has announced his retirement from football. The greatest player in the history of our great football club Chelsea. It was an absolute pleasure playing with you mate and seeing first hand the dedication and hard work you put in, on and off the pitch, the best trainer by a million miles every single day, inspiring me and everyone at the club.

"I miss you next to me in the dressing room and miss you grabbing a bag of balls after training when everyone went inside. You stayed out working on your finishing, 20 goals a year was not good enough for you, every year you wanted 25, 30 goals, I love that about you I will miss you getting four cones and doing sprints after training, setting the example for the kids in the academy.

"All the great memories together winning trophy after trophy, year after year. I will never forget, you have won everything and should be extremely proud. It has been my pleasure and honour to play and experience all those great moments with you, 648 appearances (we nearly caught Peter Bonetti and Ron Harris) and 211 goals, an unbelievable achievement.

"A gentleman both on and off the pitch, leader in the dressing room and if I could choose one person next to me in the trenches it would be you. A great dad to your two beautiful girls and I am proud to call you my mate.

"Good luck for the future, whatever you choose to do will be a huge success. Love Ya Lampsy.

"Legend, hero, inspiration and the best ever."

Recognition of Lampard's achievements have poured in from across the globe.

I played with @franklampard No more words needed...

A photo posted by Eidur Gudjohnsen (@eidurgudjohnsen) on