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Centurion Frank Lampard lays down sword to retire from England duty

England centurion Frank Lampard has announced his international retirement at the age of 36, bringing down the curtain on a 15-year stint for the Three lions.

The former Chelsea legend, who is now on loan at Manchester City from new parent club New York City, earned a total of 106 caps for his country, scoring 29 goals – a record for a midfielder.

“I have taken the decision to retire from international football,” Lampard said. “It has been a very tough decision for me to make, which is why I have given it so much thought since the World Cup.

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

“Due to my club career now going in a different direction, it is of utmost importance for me to consider my family first. Also, to concentrate on how I can perform consistently to the best of my abilities over my next few years in club football.”

“It is now the time to move forward and I feel very confident that with Roy Hodgson in charge, the young players that we have coming through, and the changes that are being made throughout the development of the youth system in this country, that we will have success in the future and a team that this country deserves.

“I would like to thank all the managers that I have worked under, all the players that I have been fortunate enough to play alongside, and all the England fans for their support, not only at home but particularly on their travels with the team around the world.

“I now look forward to continuing to support the team as a fan and wish them every success for the upcoming campaign towards France 2016.”

Lampard took went to four major tournaments for England (three World Cups and a European Championship), and helped the Three Lions reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2004 in Portugal and at Germany 2006.

His last appearance for the Three Lions came at the most recent World Cup finals in Brazil against Costa Rica, where he was given the captaincy, in place of usual skipper Steven Gerrard, who has also retired from international football. England drew 0-0 in that third group stage game, but were already eliminated from the tournament at that stage.

His highlights in a Three Lions shirt include being named England’s Player of the Year in both 2004 and 2005, he was top scorer for them in the 2006 World Cup qualification campaign and he boasts the record for most penalties converted – nine.

A country who fell victim to Lampard most were Croatia, who saw the scoring midfielder smash five past them in his career.

One notable lowlight for the former England vice-captain, though not his fault, was his ‘ghost goal’ against Germany at the 2010 World Cup in the last 16. Lampard beat keeper Manuel Neuer, but the referee deemed the ‘would-be equaliser’ illegitimate. The infamous occasion ultimately contributed to today’s goal-line technology, that was witnessed at the finals in Brazil.

England, meanwhile, are 14/1 chances to go all the way at Euro 2016 without Lampard.