Frank Lampard (left), with Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley in his final game (Derik Hamilton/USA Today).

By Michael Lewis

Only three months after leaving New York City FC, former Frank Lampard has decided to leave the beautiful game.

The former English international Thursday announced his retirement from soccer.

“After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer,” he said.

“Whilst I have received a number of exciting offers to continue playing at home and abroad, at 38, I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my life. I’m immensely proud of the trophies I’ve won, of representing my country over 100 times and of scoring more than 300 career goals.”

Lampard said he will study for his coaching qualification with the English Football Association.

“Looking forward, I’m grateful to the FA for the opportunity to study for my coaching qualifications and I look forward to pursuing the off-field opportunities that this decision opens,” he said.

He then went on to thank friends and family.

“I have many people to thank,” Lampard said. “I thank my parents for instilling in me the values of hard work, dedication and professionalism, values which I have carried with me in everything that I do. I am forever grateful for the support of my family, my wife Christine and my two daughters Luna and Isla.

“What you have given me off the pitch has always been my strength on it. I love you all very much. Also, my friends and my own team that have always been there for me. I would like to thank the amazing team-mates, coaches, managers and backroom staff that I was privileged to work with.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to the clubs that I have represented. Firstly, West Ham United who gave me my debut in 1996. Thanks to the people there that believed in me at that young age. More recently Manchester City and NYC FC.

“I greatly enjoyed my last playing years at these two clubs and really appreciate the support I received from City Football Group and both clubs’ fans.

“Of course, the largest part of my heart belongs to Chelsea, a club which has given me so many great memories. I will never forget the opportunity they gave me and the success that we managed to achieve together.”

Lampard’s tenure with City last two years, although it started off on a controversial note when Manchester City, NYC FC’s parent club, revealed it had signed him to a contract and not the Major League Soccer side as originally announced.

An injury kept him sidelined for most of the 2015 before he scored three goals and added one assist in nine starts over 10 games and 733 minutes.

In 2016, Lampard became a force, connecting for 12 goals and three assists in 12 starts over 19 matches and 1,280 minutes.