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Frank Lampard announces international retirement

Paul Gilham

It's strange to think of Frank Lampard as anything other than an England and Chelsea player. Not strange as in bad, but strange as in almost unthinkable, as though something has gone a bit wrong inside one's head. Despite the midfielder 'playing' for Manchester City on loan from New York City FC, he remains part of the mental furniture at Stamford Bridge -- as well he should, being a club legend. So although Lampard retiring from the England setup obviously isn't Chelsea news, it feels like Chelsea news anyway.

This, incidentally, is how you know a player really, really mattered to your team.

Anyway, Lampard is done with England, as he probably should be what with being a 36-year-old midfielder who can't quite cut it at the very top level anymore. He went to five major tournaments with the Three Lions, and will probably be best remembered for the goal that wasn't against Germany in 2010. Lampard managed an impressive goals haul with England: with 29 he's in the top ten all-time and is only one behind the likes of Alan Shearer, but there was always a sense that he was under-appreciated by the fans thanks to the side's lack of cohesion when it counted.

No chance of that here!

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