sport

Lampard admits Chelsea relief

Frank Lampard is relieved to have made his decision to leave Chelsea public but remains silent on his next move.

Lampard confirmed on Monday that he is leaving Stamford Bridge this summer after 13 years with the club.

He leaves as one of Chelsea's all-time greats after winning 11 trophies and scoring a club-record 211 goals, and emotions were never far from the surface when he broached domestic matters at a press conference in Miami, where he had been named England captain for Wednesday's friendly against Ecuador.

"It is very difficult after 13 years but you have to move on, I move on, the club moves on and it's as simple as that," Lampard said.

"I'm here now to concentrate on being with England. It was a relief to say it last night and now I personally, and the team, can focus on the game.

"It is something I will address more to Chelsea fans and Chelsea people at another time.

"It was strange to hear the statement down the phone, talking to people back home yesterday. It is quite strange when it is said out loud, I have to say, because it has been such a huge part of my life.

"That is kind of tough to an extent, but I am a big boy and I understand things move on. It's a weight off my shoulders to an extent.

"I was so entrenched in the life at Chelsea, it overtook my life. I've been lucky enough to share it with lots of great people behind the scenes. It has been a huge part of my life so it cannot be anything but a wrench to leave.

"Yes, I'm proud. I'm proud to have been at a fantastic club, a club I went to quite wet behind the ears from West Ham and the club completely took me in.

"I am proud of nights like Munich. They will stay with me forever and, like I said in the statement, I will always have a lot of Chelsea in me. I'll be back at games.

"I had a bundle of texts last night from people I've met along the way - Chelsea fans, friends, my family - and that made me feel very proud, I have to say."

Lampard was coy about his next move, with a number of clubs interested in his signature including fledgling MLS franchise New York City FC.

One reporter suggested it might not be a case of 'Frankie Goes To Hollywood' but New York instead, to which Lampard replied, with a smile: "You're very quick. I've seen the headline before.

"They were very familiar with me in there. Frankie sounds nice but I can't comment on the other end of that.

"I'd like to get it sorted after the World Cup. The American thing is an option, I make no bones about that.

"I'm looking at different options, but the main thing is I want to carry on playing. I feel very fit and fresh and I'm enjoying it so I will keeping I'd love to play for a few more years.

"I can't tell you where that is now and that is something to be parked at the minute."