• World Cup

Lampard: Almost a relief to confirm exit

ESPN staff
June 3, 2014
Frank Lampard's Chelsea career comes to an end

Frank Lampard has admitted it was "a relief" for him to confirm he has kicked his last ball for Chelsea, as his trophy-laden career at Stamford Bridge officially came to an end on Monday.

Lampard released a statement announcing he would be leaving after 13 years, with Lampard speaking publicly for the first time about the news as he appeared at an England media conference in Miami.

"It was very difficult. After 13 years, the club has become part of my life," Lampard said. "I released a statement that said it all really. It's difficult, but you have to move on, the club will move on.

"It was almost a relief to say it and now I can move forward, but of course it is a huge thing for me. It's something I will address more to the Chelsea fans and Chelsea people at another time. I'm here to concentrate on England now."

Lampard will captain England in their warm-up game against Ecuador in Miami tomorrow, with the 35-year-old admitting he feels a responsibility as one of the senior members of manager Roy Hodgson's squad to help the positive ambience in the group as they prepare for the World Cup.

"Any squad is a mixture of the young and slightly older, or experienced players. We have a responsibility and we take that on board," he said.

"We don't try and ram it down the throat of the youngsters telling them what they should do. It's a case of letting them go and letting is about playing without fear, showing the talents that got them into the squad.

"I think myself, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart are the more experienced players here and it is our job to be there and give some help in the dressing room and around the hotel if we can. Keep the squad very happy, be a line to the boss and the staff and if we cab help in that way, we will have a happy camp. We also need to play well."

Lampard went on to praise the attention to details in the preparations that have been put together by Hodgson, as he suggested the anticipated tricky climatic conditions his team-mates will face in their opening World Cup match against Italy in Manaus on June 14 should not hamper their ambitions.

"I am very impressed with what Roy and the staff have done," Lampard added. "They have covered every base and that gives us no excuses. It is up to us to get to the level where we can deal with it. It is no different for the team from Italy."

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