sport

Lampard quits internationals

Frank Lampard has announced that he has decided to retire from international football after making 106 appearances for England.

The 36-year-old former Chelsea man, who recently joined Manchester City on loan from New York City FC, scored 29 goals during a distinguished 15-year international career.

He played at the last three World Cups and was named England player of the year in 2004 and 2005.

However, he has now decided to follow his long-time midfield partner Steven Gerrard into international retirement, two weeks before qualifying begins for Euro 2016.

Lampard released a statement which read: "I have taken the decision to retire from international football.

"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."

Lampard left Chelsea at the end of last season after a trophy-laden 13-year spell with the London club.

And he added: "Due to my club career now going in a different direction, it is of the utmost importance for me to consider my family first and 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, 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 England fans for their support, not only at home but particularly 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 made his debut for England in a friendly victory over Belgium in October 1999 and scored three goals in four matches as they reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2004.

He played every minute at the 2006 World Cup but was one of three players to miss a penalty in the quarter-final shoot-out loss to Portugal.

England exited the 2010 tournament at the second-round stage after a 4-1 loss to Germany, during which Lampard famously had a shot which replays showed crossed the goal-line when it bounced down off the crossbar, only for the officials to fail to award a goal.

He was named vice-captain of the squad for this summer's World Cup in Brazil and made his one appearance when he led the side for the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica which concluded their campaign, as they crashed out at the group stages.

Lampard retires as England's ninth highest scorer of all-time and the fifth most-capped outfield player.

Roy Hodgson's side will now have to move on without Gerrard and Lampard, and the manager will name his next squad and a new captain on Thursday, ahead of a Wembley friendly against Norway (3 September) and the first Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland (8 September).