New York City coach Patrick Vieira saluted Frank Lampard after the former England and Chelsea midfielder announced on Monday he will be leaving the Major League Soccer team when his contract expires next month.
The 38-year-old Lampard, signed in 2014, suffered with injuries during his time in the US but scored 15 goals in 31 appearances for New York City.
"Everybody talks about Frank's goalscoring record but I can tell you, after a year of working with him, he brings so much more to a team than just goals," former France midfielder Vieira told the club website (www.nycfc.com).
"What Frank has brought to the locker room is something just as important, his experience, his elite mentality and his mentorship for the younger members of our squad have helped us greatly this year."
Lampard, Chelsea's all-time record scorer with 211 goals, claimed New York City's maiden hat-trick against the Colorado Rapids in July as the club reached the playoffs for the first time.
"As my time at NYCFC comes to an end I would like to thank so many people for the kindness and support they have shown me," he said.
"My team mates have been a pleasure to play alongside, the amazing fans have given me incredible support and backing.
"I have very much enjoyed my time and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to play for such a great club and in such an incredible city," added Lampard.
"I leave with many great memories as I embark on the next stage of my career and I'll be making an announcement very soon."
Lampard won three Premier League titles and the 2012 Champions League with Chelsea and scored 29 goals in 106 appearances for England.
New York City's sporting director Claudio Reyna echoed Vieira's sentiments.
"On and off the pitch he has been a fantastic ambassador," Reyna said.
"I would tell any young player to watch Frank, to see how he's conducted himself over the last two years and to use that as inspiration as to how an elite, professional footballer should approach the game," he added.
"From the second he walked through the door he's set the example. Frank will always be part of the history of this club and we thank him for playing an important role in so many special moments in our young history."