Lampard began his career at West Ham United, his father Frank Lampard, Sr.'s former club. He had secured a place in the first team by the 1997–98 season, and the following year helped the team finish 5th in the Premier League, their highest-ever Premier League placing. In 2001, he moved to rival London club Chelsea for £11 million.
From his debut onwards he was ever-present in the Chelsea first team, setting a record 164 consecutive Premier League appearances. He established himself as a prolific scorer at the West London club and was a key part of the sides which won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2004–05 and 2005–06 and a domestic cup double in 2007. He signed a new contract in 2008, becoming the highest paid Premier League footballer at that time, and scored in his first Champions League Final that same year. He won the FA Cup for the second time in 2009, scoring the winning goal in the final. On 23 December 2009, he was named the Premier League's Player of the decade by official statistics. In the 2009–10 season, Lampard won the Premier League title and FA Cup (domestic cup double) and also had his most prolific season with Chelsea, scoring 22 league goals and 17 league assists.
A three-time Chelsea Player of the Year, he is the club's third all-time goalscorer with 170 goals in all competitions, including over 100 league goals – the most in the club's history for a midfielder. Lampard is also the highest goalscoring midfielder in Premier League history (139 league goals) and second in the Premier League's all-time assists table with 85 assists. He has had over 1400 successful passes and 10 or more assists every season. In 2005, Lampard was voted second place in both the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year and the 2005 Ballon d'Or.
Internationally, Lampard has been capped 86 times by England since making his debut in October 1999, and has scored 22 goals. He was voted England Player of the Year for two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005. He played in Euro 2004, where he was named in the team of the tournament after scoring three goals in four games. He was top scorer for England in their successful 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign with five goals, and played in the 2006 World Cup. He is England's most prolific penalty taker ever with 7 goals, surpassing the previous record holders, Ron Flowers and Alan Shearer.
He was named the 49th highest earning Sportsman in the world, on June 2011.