July 24, 2014 / 3:45 PM / 3 years ago

Lampard joins New York City on two-year contract

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has signed for new Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York City FC on a two-year contract, the team said on Thursday.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard acknowledges the crowd at the end of his team's Champion's League semi-final first leg soccer match against Atletico Madrid at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Staples

Lampard became New York’s second major signing following the arrival of ex-Barcelona and Spain forward David Villa to the club which will join MLS next year.

The 36-year-old Lampard left Chelsea in June after 13 years with the London club where he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League.

“It is a very exciting challenge for me in life terms. I had a fantastic 13 years with Chelsea that I can look back with pride upon. Having seen the vision here, seeing a real long-term plan, I wanted to be part of that. I want to carry on challenging myself and be a leader not only on the pitch,” Lampard told a news conference.

Lampard has played 106 matches for England and was part of the World Cup squad in Brazil, captaining the team in their final group game against Costa Rica.

England's Frank Lampard (8) fights for the ball with Costa Rica's Christian Bolanos during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

“He is a professional, a leader and he ticked all the boxes in terms of the qualities to help grow our team,” said New York sporting director Claudio Reyna.

The midfielder said he had yet to make a decision on his England future having focused on resolving his club situation first.

New York City are owned by England’s Manchester City and Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and will play at Yankee Stadium when the 2015 MLS season gets under way in February.

Lampard said no decision had yet been made on what he would do between now and the start of the 2015 season.

Villa will play for another City-owned club, Australia’s Melbourne City FC, before teaming up with New York but Reyna said there were a “number of options”.

Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond

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