“After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the
right time to finish my career as a professional footballer. Whilst I
have received a number of exciting offers to continue playing at home
and abroad, at 38 I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my
life. I’m immensely proud of the trophies I’ve won, of representing my
country over 100 times and of scoring more than 300 career goals.
I have many people to thank. I thank my parents for
instilling in me the values of hard work, dedication and
professionalism, values which I have carried with me in everything that I
do. I am forever grateful for the support of my family, my wife
Christine and my two daughters Luna and Isla. What you have given me off
the pitch has always been my strength on it. I love you all very much.
Also, my friends and my own team that have always been there for me. I
would like to thank the amazing team-mates, coaches, managers and
backroom staff that I was privileged to work with.
I’d also like to pay tribute to the clubs that I have
represented. Firstly, West Ham United who gave me my debut in 1996.
Thanks to the people there that believed in me at that young age. More
recently Manchester City and NYCFC. I greatly enjoyed my last playing
years at these two clubs and really appreciate the support I received
from City Football Group and both clubs’ fans.
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. It is impossible to give thanks individually to all
the people that helped and supported me in my 13 years playing there.
All I can say is from the day I signed until now and going forward, I’m
eternally grateful for everything and to everyone. Chelsea fans gave
myself and my teammates such incredible support. Their passion and
hunger drove me on personally to give my best year after year. I
couldn’t have done it without them.
Looking forward, I’m grateful to the FA for the
opportunity to study for my coaching qualifications and I look forward
to pursuing the off-field opportunities that this decision opens.”
Chelsea 3-1 Swansea. Kante masterclass once again, Pedro truly brilliant, Fabregas outstanding deserves to start forever, great fight by the boys not giving up after conceding. Lamps’ proper goodbye at half time. & 11 points clear!