Soccer

Lampard retires from England duty ahead of 2016 Euro qualifiers

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The Canadian Press
8/26/2014 10:26:27 AM
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LONDON - Frank Lampard retired from England's national team on Tuesday, two weeks before qualifying starts for the 2016 European Championship.

Since making his England debut in 1999, the 36-year-old Lampard has scored 29 goals in 106 matches, with his last appearance coming at the World Cup in June.

"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," Lampard said in a statement. "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 has just embarked on a new phase of his club career after a trophy-laden, 13-year spell at Chelsea was ended by the club in May. The midfielder joined New York City FC, which sent him back to the Premier League on loan to partner club Manchester City to prepare for the Major League Soccer team's debut in 2015.

"Due to my club career now going in a different direction it is of utmost importance for me to consider my family first — also, to concentrate on how I can perform consistently to the best of my abilities over my next few years in club football," Lampard said.

Lampard's international retirement has followed another member of England's so-called golden generation, Steven Gerrard.

At the World Cup, Lampard's international career ended with England's worst World Cup showing, collecting only one point before going home. Lampard's only appearance in Brazil came in a 0-0 draw against Costa Rica when England was already out of contention in the group stage.

England coach Roy Hodgson is trying to rebuild the team before Euro 2016 qualifying begins against Switzerland next month, with the squad announced on Thursday. Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is expected to assume the England armband from Gerrard.

"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," Lampard said.

"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."

Frank Lampard (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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