Frank Lampard will leave Chelsea with plaudits from the club he served with such aplomb for 13 years ringing in his ears.
The 35-year-old confirmed in a statement on Monday evening that he had played his last game for the Blues and will seek a new challenge after the World Cup.
Chelsea responded by issuing a lengthy tribute on the club's official website which finished by hailing the midfielder as one of their finest players of all time.
It concluded: "That Lampard has won more international caps while playing for Chelsea than anyone else in our history only strengthens the argument that he is one of the very greatest players to have represented the club.
"Any Chelsea supporter who has had the good fortune to watch Super Frank Lampard in full flow will know we have never seen his like in our midfield before, and we will be very blessed to again see his equal."
The 10 best free agents on the market this summer
The 10 best free agents on the market this summer
1/8 Guillermo Ochoa
The Mexican goalkeeper rose to fame thanks to his brilliant performance against Brazil in the World Cup. The 28-year-old, who left Ajaccio at the end of the season, has been linked with a move to the Premier League.
2/8 Rio Ferdinand
Both halves of Manchester United’s famous central defence for the past eight years are leaving this summer. Nemanja Vidic is off to Italy to play for Internazionale while Rio Ferdinand was told at the weekend that United would not be renewing his contract. Ferdinand said last week that if United did not offer him a new deal that he would be “open to offers” but joked that he “would not go below the Conference”. That is unlikely to be an issue as there should be no shortage of clubs looking for a defender of his experience. Queen’s Park Rangers, should they come up, are managed by Ferdinand’s old mentor Harry Redknapp, while even bigger teams like Arsenal could be tempted.
3/8 Diego Lugano
The Uruguay captain hit the headlines in Brazil for the wrong reasons as his complete denial that team-mate Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini when everyone else could see it. His contract with West Brom is up for renewal, but the 33-year-old is unlikely to remain in the Premier League.
4/8 Nicolas Anelka
Sacked by West Brom last season for his controversial 'Quenelle' gesture, Anelka has not yet confirmed whether he will sign for a new club - should anyone want him - or announce his retirement.
5/8 Frank Lampard
As with Terry and Cole, Lampard’s Chelsea deal expires at the end of the season and he is likely to follow Terry in signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge. Lampard is not the dynamic presence in midfield that he once was, and he started only 20 Premier League games this season. But as his inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad demonstrated, his experience and presence are invaluable and he is more than worth having around. That said, if he does not renew at Chelsea, there would surely be offers from abroad, not least from long-time suitors LA Galaxy.
6/8 Marouane Chamakh
The Moroccan striker has completed a one-year deal at Crystal Palace that could barely have gone much better. Since he was entrusted with a role as a withdrawn striker by Tony Pulis in December, he has been excellent, scoring five goals and helping to drag Palace out of the relegation zone and into safety. Chamakh will be discussing his future with the club soon but he said last week that agreeing a new deal at Palace was his “priority”, after building an excellent rapport with the fans and playing his best football since his arrival in England from France in 2010. If not, he would like to stay in the Premier League.
7/8 Samuel Eto'o
The striker did not cover himself in glory at the 2014 World Cup, as Cameroon's campaign was blighted by a money row over bonuses and poor performances in Brazil that saw them eliminated at the group stages. However, the Champions League winner will still have a number of clubs interested in his services, with Arsenal being linked in recent weeks.
8/8 Nicklas Bendtner
Despite a fairly successful season by his standards, Nicklas Bendtner is on his way out of Arsenal. The Dane has scored twice this year, in wins over Hull and Cardiff, but he fell behind Yaya Sanogo in the pecking order while not always conducting himself immaculately off the pitch. He turned down moves away from Arsenal last summer that would have meant pay cuts but this summer he must be hopeful of maximising his value as a free agent.
Lampard is currently with the England squad at their pre-World Cup camp in Miami and could face the media ahead of England's Wednesday friendly against Ecuador.
While a move away from the top-level European game has been mooted - with New York City FC said to be leading the race for his signature - his international team-mates are convinced he still has much to give.
Fellow England midfielder James Milner said: "He's not finished yet. He's still got that quality and still has the goals, so I am sure he'll have plenty of offers and he will choose what is right.
"Players have ups and downs in their career, but every season he delivers and the example is set for the younger players coming in.
"Since I've been in the England squad he's been a top player, a top pro and that's exactly what we need going into a major tournament."
Goalkeeper Petr Cech was the first of Lampard's Chelsea team-mates to pay tribute, posting a picture of the two of them on Twitter with the message: "It has been a privilege to have played with a true cfc legend and one of the most influential PL players ever".
Lampard gave no immediate indication as to what the future might hold, instead choosing to thank those who helped him make such a success of his Stamford Bridge career.
Lampard said: "When I arrived at this fantastic club 13 years ago I would never have believed that I would be fortunate enough to play so many games and enjoy sharing in so much success.
"This club has become part of my life and I have so many people to thank for the opportunity. Firstly, Ken Bates, who put his neck on the line to sign me as a young player and without him I would not have even begun this experience.
"Roman Abramovich, the man who saved our club and took us all to new levels. His desire to push the club to the top of the football world has rubbed off on everyone.
"All the managers and coaches who have helped me develop my game during the time I have been here. I have learnt from every one of them.
"All the brilliant team-mates who I have been lucky enough to train and play alongside for so long. Not just their football qualities but also the friendships I have gained along the way.
"I'd also like to give a special mention to all the staff and people behind the scenes at the club who do not receive the glory but without them the club would simply not function.
"The club will move forward, and as a Chelsea man I have no doubt that with the quality of the players that are there, they will continue with the success that we have all enjoyed over the past seasons."
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