Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By TATE STEINLAGE
After 13 years and 648 appearances in Chelsea blue, Frank Lampard will see his future in a new kit.
The 35-year-old midfielder confirmed through his agent that he will be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer for unknown pastures. Recent reports have stated that Lampard’s next destination could be New York City FC where he’d team up with David Villa, who signed as the club’s first player on Monday.
Lampard released a lengthy statement to SkySports in which he closed by saying, “I feel honored to have shared so many special times with you. Bolton, Amsterdam, Munich, the list goes on and on. I, and we as a team, could not have achieved those moments without your support.
“Whatever the next challenge is for me I will always be amongst you and have Chelsea in my home and in my heart. Hopefully I will get to see you all soon to say goodbye properly. In the meantime thank you for the memories and keep making history!”
Lampard is currently with the England National Team in their pre-World Cup training camp in Miami, Fla. and will compete, likely off the bench, with the Three Lions in Brazil.
Here are more news items from a busy Monday in the soccer world:
IMMOBILE CLOSES TRANSFER MOVE TO DORTMUND
The Bundesliga has attracted yet another young talent by way of league runner up, Borussia Dortmund.
The German side announced Monday the signing of Italian striker Ciro Immobile. The 24-year-old joins Dortmund on a five-year deal that will last through 2019.
“Borussia Dortmund are a huge club and the idea of replacing [Robert] Lewandowski really appeals to me,” Immobile said at Monday’s press conference. “I’ve spoken to Caldirola and Donati and they’ve told me that the Bundesliga’s a fantastic league – one of the best in the world.”
Immobile led Serie A in scoring this past season with 22 goals in 33 league appearances for Torino FC. The club’s UEFA Europa League qualification last season was widely attributed to the success of Immobile.
“We’re getting a flexible and dynamic striker who established himself in one of Europe’s top leagues in impressive fashion,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said in a statement. “His outstanding qualities fit perfectly with the profile required by Borussia Dortmund.”
Before joining Dortmund in training, Immobile will have a busy summer with Italy at the World Cup. Immobile was included in Cesare Prandelli’s 23-man squad after breaking through with the Italians earlier this year, earning his first international cap in a March 1-0 defeat against Spain.
UEFA WON’T BACK BLATTER’S POTENTIAL RE-ELECTION
The BBC has learned that UEFA will not support current FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter if he announces his attempt for re-election at the 64th FIFA Congress in June.
If an official announcement is made at the Congress, UEFA does not want its members “to take part in any standing ovation,” according to a BBC article.
Blatter is currently in his fourth term as FIFA President and is the middle of several allegations of corruption involving Qatar, including notions that the country bought the 2022 World Cup through various bribes.
In 2011, Blatter announced that his fourth term would be his last, but recently, the 78-year-old has hinted that he will likely stand for a fifth term at the upcoming Congress.
The 64th FIFA Congress will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 10th and 11th.
Will Lampard make a move to MLS and NYCFC? Has Dortmund struck gold with Immobile? And what do you make of UEFA’s comments on Blatter’s possible announcement of re-election?
Share your thoughts below.