Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard finally confirmed he will be leaving Stamford Bridge when his contract expires in July.
This announcement did not come as a big surprise as the 35-year-old midfielder, who lifted three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League during his 13-year stint at Stamford Bridge, was already included in Chelsea's list of released players submitted to the Premier League.
Lampard, who has not yet confirmed his new destination, released a statement to announce his departure from Stamford Bridge.
"When I arrived at this fantastic club 13 years ago I would never have believed that I would be fortunate enough to play so many games and enjoy sharing in so much success. This club has become part of my life and I have so many people to thank for the opportunity. Firstly, Ken Bates, who put his neck on the line to sign me as a young player and without him I would not have even begun this experience," said Lampard, who was brought to Chelsea by former boss Claudio Ranieri in the summer of 2001.
"Roman Abramovich, the man who saved our Club and took us all to new levels. His desire to push the Club to the top of the football world has rubbed off on everyone. All the managers and coaches who have helped me develop my game during the time I have been here. I have learnt from every one of them."
"All the brilliant team mates who I have been lucky enough to train and play alongside for so long. Not just their football qualities but also the friendships I have gained along the way. I'd also like to give a special mention to all the staff and people behind the scenes at the club who do not receive the glory but without them the Club would simply not function."
Lampard, who is also Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer with 211 goals, is confident the Blues will continue finding success in the future.
"The club will move forward, and as a Chelsea man I have no doubt that with the quality of the players that are there, they will continue with the success that we have all enjoyed over the past seasons," added Lampard.
The former West Ham United midfielder, who is currently busy training with the England squad for the 2014 World Cup, also added a special acknowledgment to all the Chelsea fans for their continued support both on and off the pitch.
"Finally and most importantly, I would like to thank the Chelsea fans. I believe they are the greatest fans in world football. You have supported me from the moment I arrived. Not only on the pitch, but in difficult moments in my personal life off the pitch. I will never forget."
"I feel honoured 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 has been heavily tipped to join Spanish striker David Villa at newly-formed MLS side New York City FC, Manchester City's sister club in the United States.