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Frank Lampard: 'MLS my next big challenge'

updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Frank Lampard joining New York City FC
  • Lampard won Champions League and EPL titles with Cheslsea
  • Capped 106 times by England and played at 2014 World Cup
  • Move to MLS 'the perfect fit' he tells CNN

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(CNN) -- Not content with claiming every major club honor with Chelsea and over a century of caps for England -- now Frank Lampard is relishing a new challenge in MLS with New York City FC.

"Obviously players tend to come here later in their careers, but for me personally I come here with a big determination to make an imprint on life here," he told CNN.

"I made this move because I wanted to come here and do well."

The 36-year-old Lampard had a host of offers to prolong his career in the English Premier League or in Europe, but has opted for the Big Apple and the new franchise which starts in the 2015 season.

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"It feels really right," he said. "For me personally it's a great challenge to move from Chelsea to a different country and a great city like New York."

Lampard left Chelsea as a club legend, having scored a record 211 goals in 649 appearances over 13 seasons.

Read: Lampard goal sinks Spain

During that time he helped the Blues to three EPL titles, the English FA Cup on four occasions and the crowning glory, the 2012 European Champions League crown.

But last season it became clear that his Chelsea career was drawing to a close with manager Jose Mourinho looking to younger players.

Lampard said that he was not ruling out a future role at Chelsea but was "totally committed" to New York City FC.

"I'm sure there is the possibility to go back later in some capacity," he said. "But I wanted to keep playing regularly and being important in a team."

Lampard, who has signed a two-year contact with New York, joins former Spanish international David Villa as the marquee players in the new venture.

Read: Chelsea clinches Europa League

Before signing a one-year extension to his Chelsea contract before the start of last season, Lampard had mulled over a move to Los Angeles Galaxy, the then club of his former England teammate David Beckham.

"I have been watching the MLS since the Beckham's and (Robbie) Keane arrived," he said. "The league has improved and its the perfect fit for me in football and lifestyle terms."

Lampard's last action as an England player saw him take to the field in its final group match at the 2014 World Cup, a draw with Costa Rica, but having already been eliminated.

It was his 106th international cap with 29 goals to his name, an excellent scoring rate for a midfield player.

New York City FC sporting director Claudio Reyna described Lampard as "one of the greatest players over the last 15 years" at his official unveiling Thursday and had worked hard to persuade him to make the move.

"New York sold me the vision of what they wanted to do," Lampard said.

"I think when I look back at the end of my career with Chelsea it's a period as good as it could be.

"I have no regrets," he added.

Read: Goal-line technology adopted by FIFA

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