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How brilliant was Chelsea's Frank Lampard?

He was one of England's best midfielders of modern times, and as bright as his football was beautiful; to mark his retirement, UEFA.com builds a shrine to one of Chelsea's all-time greats.

Frank Lampard retires with a massive Chelsea legacy
Frank Lampard retires with a massive Chelsea legacy ©Getty Images

With his 21-year professional career now at an end, UEFA.com gives full credit to a player regarded as one of the great England midfielders of modern times.

What they said
"To have a midfield player who consistently scores so many goals at the top level is a rare thing."
Lionel Messi, Barcelona forward

"One of my best players ever, one of my best professionals ever, a Chelsea legend and a legend in the Premier League."
José Mourinho, former Chelsea manager

Watch some of Frank Lampard's best goals

"Lamps is a proper Chelsea legend. Lamps won everything with us and in my opinion is the best and most consistent player ever."
John Terry, Chelsea captain

"It was a privilege to have played with a true Chelsea legend and one of the most influential Premier League players ever."
Petr Čech, former Chelsea goalkeeper

"Frank Lampard has been a superb representative of the English game, both as a player on the pitch and as an ambassador off it. He served the national team quite brilliantly during his 15-year international career."
Roy Hodgson, former England manager

Final tally
International: 106 appearances, 29 goals
UEFA club competition: 132 appearances, 29 goals
European domestic competition: 751 appearances, 230 goals

With West Ham in 1998
With West Ham in 1998©Hulton Archive

Claims to fame
West Ham

• Followed in his father's footsteps by playing for West Ham, but made his professional debut (v Bradford, October 1995) and scored his first competitive goal (v Brighton) while on loan at Swansea.

• Made his top-division debut in January 1996 in a West Ham game against Coventry.

• Helped West Ham earn a Premier League-best fifth-placed finish in 1998/99, and made his UEFA club competition bow that summer as the Hammers got through the UEFA Intertoto Cup to the UEFA Cup, claiming his first UEFA goal against Finnish side Jokerit.

With the UEFA Champions League trophy in 2012
With the UEFA Champions League trophy in 2012©Getty Images

• Joined Chelsea in 2001 at a time when they had won six major domestic trophies (in 96 years); he left 13 years later having helped them lift nine more (three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups).

• Played in 164 successive Premier League games from 2001 and 2005 – a record for any player in the English top flight.

• Captained the Blues to the 2012 UEFA Champions League and 2013 UEFA Europa League – Chelsea are the only team to have landed the top two trophies in European club competition in reverse order.

• Scored ten or more Premier League goals in ten consecutive seasons from 2003/04 to 2012/13; his best single-season haul was 22 in 2009/10 as Chelsea clinched the title under Carlo Ancelotti.

A UEFA Europa League-winning captain in 2013
A UEFA Europa League-winning captain in 2013©Sportsfile

• Hit his 23rd and final UEFA Champions League goal (his 29th in all UEFA competitions) on 1 October 2013 in a 4-0 victory at Steaua Bucureşti.

• Left Chelsea in 2014 having amassed a club-record 211 goals in all competitions; his 648 appearances leave him fourth in the west Londoners' all-time rankings, behind John Terry, Peter Bonetti and Ron Harris.

• Saw 10,264 minutes of UEFA club competition action for the Blues; only Terry (11,363) has played more.

Lampard spent his final European season with City
Lampard spent his final European season with City©AFP/Getty Images

Man. City
• Loaned back to England after signing for New York City, he made his 600th Premier League outing on 14 March 2015 in a 1-0 loss to Burnley – a mark only eclipsed by Ryan Giggs.

• Played his 107th and final UEFA Champions League game in a 1-0 defeat at Barcelona on 18 March 2015, placing him 29th in the competition's all-time appearance rankings. He is 28th in the all-time UEFA club competition appearance rankings with 132 European matches.

• Scored in his 609th and final Premier League fixture – a 2-0 success against Southampton on 24 May 2015. His 171 goals in the top division put him fourth in the all-time list behind Andrew Cole, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer.

Lampard scored 29 goals for England
Lampard scored 29 goals for England©Getty Images

• First appeared for England in a 3-0 UEFA European Under-18 Championship qualifier against Scotland, and was capped at U21 level too before earning his first senior cap against Belgium on 10 October 1999.

• Voted England Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005, he was named in the official Team of the Tournament at UEFA EURO 2004, where he hit three goals in four outings.

• One of just nine players to make over 100 appearances for England, his final tally of 107 left him joint seventh on the chart alongside Sir Bobby Charlton.

• His 29 international goals include nine successfully converted penalties – an England record.

Lampard shows his OBE to wife Christine Bleakley
Lampard shows his OBE to wife Christine Bleakley©Getty Images

What you might not know
• In IQ tests conducted by Chelsea, Lampard "scored one of the highest set of marks ever recorded by the company doing the tests", according to the club's doctor. His teachers at Brentwood School may have seen that coming; he left with 11 GCSEs, notably an A* in Latin.

• Lampard has written a series of children's novels about Frankie and his adventures with a magic football.

• The player's father Frank Sr and his one-time team-mate Harry Redknapp married sisters, meaning Frank Jr's England team-mate Jamie Redknapp was also his cousin.

• He has two daughters by Spanish model Elen Rivas, Luna and Isla, but subsequently married television presenter Christine Bleakley.

Our sentiments exactly
Our sentiments exactly©Getty Images

What he says
"[On joining Chelsea] I think I can take my game on from here and win a lot of medals with the club. It's always been my ambition from day one to play European football."

"[On winning the UEFA Champions League] One of the greatest days of my life. I’m pleased we haven't won it before because it feels even more special. It took so long. I've been here for 11 years so I've been waiting for this baby for a long time."

"I have always been exceptionally proud and honoured to represent my country and have to say, looking back, that I have enjoyed every minute of wearing the England shirt."

"[On joining Manchester City] I was at Chelsea such a long time that you just go into auto-pilot in the end. I was very much in a comfort zone and it's good to test yourself in life."

"Of course, the largest part of my heart belongs to Chelsea, a club which has given me so many great memories. I will never forget the opportunity they gave me and the success that we managed to achieve together."