Conte: Football has lost something with 'legend' Lampard's retirement

Getty Images
The Italian paid tribute to the 38-year-old's legacy at Stamford Bridge but stopped just short of opening the door to his return to the club

Antonio Conte has saluted Frank Lampard for what he contributed to football following his retirement from playing on Thursday, and urged the former midfielder to take time to consider his next step.

Is there a better centre back in the world than David Luiz?

West Ham academy product Lampard made more than 600 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 211 goals before ending his career with stints at Manchester City and New York City.

Thoughts have inevitably turned to what Lampard will do with his retirement, with reports suggesting the Football Association could be about to offer the former midfielder a coaching role.

But while Conte hailed Lampard's legacy at Stamford Bridge, he stopped short of promising the 38-year-old a place on his backroom staff anytime soon.

"It's a pity when a great player like Frank Lampard decides to stop his career, because you lose a great player, a fantastic player," said the Italian, whose side host Arsenal on Saturday.

"The whole world of football is a bit disappointed in this type of situation. Lampard for sure for this club is a legend. He played 13 years and won a lot. He played 100 or more times for the national team.

Barcelona injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Athletic Club

"But I think we must respect his decision because every player understands the right moment to end his career.

Frank Lampard, Chelsea, Champions League 2012, Munich

"I have great respect for him, for his career and for the man. I don't know him very well, but I heard a lot of positive things about him."

Pressed on a potential role for Lampard at the club, Conte added: "I don't know his thoughts.

"It's important when you decide to finish your career to take a bit of time to decide to make the best decision for you.

"I think Frank can decide which is the best way for him in football, but I don't know his thoughts."

Next article:
How Solskjaer has made Pogba fall in love with football again
Next article:
Emery unsure on Mislintat’s future in difficult transfer window for Arsenal
Next article:
'He lets me express myself' - Martial hails Solskjaer influence at Man Utd
Next article:
West Ham confident Arnautovic won't strike & Chicharito will stay
Next article:
Mkhitaryan to return to Arsenal fold ahead of Man Utd clash