LONDON (AP) — Despite never winning a trophy with the so-called "golden generation," Frank Lampard retired from England duty on Tuesday having provided his greatest legacy to football in one game he'd rather forget.
The midfielder prompted the introduction of goal-line technology when he was denied a clear goal in England's humiliating 4-1 loss to Germany at the 2010 World Cup.
The referee's mistake was so glaring that FIFA President Sepp Blatter quickly reversed his long-standing opposition to goal-line technology. For the 2014 World Cup, FIFA used cameras in stadiums to instantly determine if a ball had crossed the line.
But as football entered a new era in Brazil, Lampard was in the final act of an international career that began in 1999. The 36-year-old midfielder made just one appearance at the World Cup, earning a 106th and final cap in a 0-0 draw against Costa Rica when England was already out of contention to advance from the group stage.
With the inquest into England's worst-ever World Cup showing still continuing, Lampard decided to follow captain Steven Gerrard into international retirement and leave qualifying for the 2016 European Championship to younger players.
"It has been a very tough decision for me to make, which is why I have given it so much thought since the World Cup," Lampard said in a statement. "I have always been exceptionally proud and honored to represent my country and have to say looking back I have enjoyed every minute of wearing the England shirt."
Lampard has just embarked on a new phase of his club career after a trophy-laden, 13-year spell at Chelsea was ended by the club in May. He joined New York City FC, which sent him back to the Premier League on loan to partner club Manchester City to prepare for the Major League Soccer team's debut in 2015.
"Due to my club career now going in a different direction it is of utmost importance for me to consider my family first — also, to concentrate on how I can perform consistently to the best of my abilities over my next few years in club football," Lampard said.
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