LONDON — Frank Lampard can’t wait to start his new life in New York after ending his glittering Premier League career in typically stylish fashion.
Lampard said farewell to English football with the opening goal for Manchester City in their 2-0 win over Southampton at Eastlands on Sunday, before his departure was acknowledged with a presentation af-ter the match.
It was Lampard’s 259th goal in 882 club matches and the perfect send-off as the former Chelsea and England midfielder prepares to join Major League Soccer outfit New York City.
“It was emotional, but I am very proud,” said 36-year-old Lampard, whose contribution to English football was acknowledged with a presentation after the game.
“There were loads of emotions — a tiny bit of sadness to finish, but much more of a good feel.
“The game went well, I scored a goal and what the club did for me at the end and the way the fans reacted — I couldn’t have asked for much more. I can go away saying it was an absolute pleasure. I still feel fit and I feel like I can play for a couple more years. Maybe I could have done that in the Premier League; my choice is to play in America.
“That is my new challenge now. I feel fit and ready to go for it. I don’t want to go and make up the numbers. I want to go there and carry on and do something good.”
Lampard, who was released by Chelsea last year, joined City as a stop-gap before planning to move to New York for the start of the 2015 MLS season. But the move proved unexpectedly fruitful and City reached an agreement with their sister U.S. club to retain him until the end of the 2014-15 campaign. Lampard admits there was frustration after that extension was agreed on as City manager Manuel Pellegrini then stopped playing him regularly.
“It was a frustrating couple of months, but I kept a level head about it because I was just very happy to be here,” he said. — AFP