Frank Lampard joins New York City FC: Former Chelsea midfielder completes free transfer to MLS side New York City FC
Lampard was released by Chelsea at the end of the season and had been linked with a move to the MLS to end his illustrious career
Frank Lampard has completed his move to new Major League Soccer side New York City FC on a free transfer, the club has confirmed.
The 36-year-old was released by Chelsea at the end of the season, having joined the club 13 years ago from London rivals West Ham. Having forged a reputation for himself as one of the finest midfielders in the world, Lampard became Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorer, netting an incredible 211 times for the Blues even though he played in midfield.
Jointly-owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees, new MLS franchise New York City confirmed the acquisition of the England international at a press conference on Thursday, with Lampard becoming the fourth player to join the club.
Lampard explained that he had decided to join the newly-formed club because of the “challenge” it presents, and backed his own abilities to deal with the next step in his career.
"Why not chose New York City? For me talking about it ticking all the boxes, personally for me it does exactly the same," said Lampard in a pre-match press conference streamed live on the club website nycfc.com.
"It's a very exciting challenge for me in life terms.
"I've seen a real long-term plan and I wanted to be part of that. I want to test myself, I want to carry on challenging myself.
Video: Lampard joins New York in latest transfer news
"It was a good time for myself and Chelsea that I moved on."
He also admitted that he hadn't spoken to his former international team-mate David Beckham about the move, given Beckham's move to LA Galaxy in 2007.
"I know David pretty well, but we're not on every day speaking terms," Lampard added.
"I've spoken to him about his experiences in the MLS (but) the decision was all mine.
"There's a lot of new challenges here, but I'm coming to a great city and I wanted to show people that I can play good football."
Frank Lampard is presented as a New York City FC player Lampard also recognised what it meant to leave Chelsea after 13 years of loyal service.
“Chelsea will always have a huge part in my heart. I wish Chelsea the best,” he added on his former club.”
With New York City FC set to play at the famous Yankee Stadium, Lampard admitted that he was “overwhelmed” by the stadium when he played there in a friendly, and admitted that he was ready to take everything that comes his way in trying to make the club a household name in the United States.
“(I’m) Very much looking forward to playing in Yankee Stadium. I played there in a friendly before and I was overwhelmed by the quality,” he continued.
“It's not a risk. It's a challenge. I will give everything to be in the middle of that challenge.
“I will fight to make New York City FC a club that New Yorkers will be proud of.”
Lampard joins World Cup winner David Villa at the New York club after he also joined on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid earlier in the summer, and the England star - who is yet to announce whether he will continue with international football - could follow Villa Down Under before the MLS season gets underway.
Villa will join Melbourne City FC, another club owned by Premier league side Manchester City, until the start of the new MLS season at the beginning of 2015, and Lampard could head to Australia on a short-term loan to maintain his match season through the American off-season.
It also remains a possibility that he could return to the Premier League, as the former Chelsea talisman could head to Manchester City on loan if he prefers to join Manuel Pellegrini's side and is wanted by the Chilean.
On the matter of going out to another club, Lampard said: "I'm going to keep fit, that's the main thing. How I do that is not clear yet.
"I'm going to sit round with people at the club and sort that out.
"In terms of England, I've had a bit of time after the WC which was obviously a huge disappointment," he added.
"I now need to think about England and think about what I want to do next.
"Now I know where I'll be playing my football next year I can make that decision."
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