Omg, This is unbelievable… Frank Lampard seen my instagram
Goodbye champion, I’ll be missing you so bad because you used to make me proud of a football team, MY football team; because you used to make me feel emotions that I won’t forget; because you’re an awesome person; because no one is like you. It’s so sad to say goodbye to you.
"What a player. What a man. What an absolute diamond of a footballer. The critics, the haters, they cannot touch Frank Lampard now"
Lampard has been the epitome of consistency, professionalism and excellence for the best part of a decade at Stamford Bridge and there can be no replacing him.
Andy Wilkinson had felled Mohamed Salah and a familiar sense of expectation gripped Stamford Bridge. Lee Probert pointed to the spot and Frank Lampard stepped up. Asmir Begovic saved the first shot, low to his right, but could do nothing about the rebound. It was goal 211 and secured a win which took Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League. Beyond that it did not seem particularly significant. But it was. For it was and will remain Lampard’s last goal for Chelsea.
The article announcing his departure on Chelsea’s website read more like a eulogy than a press release. Few players and no manager – not even Jose Mourinho – have been granted such a heartfelt send-off in the Roman Abramovich era. It was extraordinary and yet utterly fitting.
Everyone will have their own view on Chelsea’s greatest ever player debate. Peter Osgood was the star of a thrilling team responsible for an entire generation of Blues fans in the 1960s. Gianfranco Zola enjoyed similar status 30 years later. In the Abramovich years, Petr Cech has established himself as the club’s greatest ever goalkeeper, John Terry the club’s greatest ever captain and Didier Drogba the ultimate match-winner, including the biggest match of all.
et Lampard outshines them all. This is the level of his legacy. He will retire as Chelsea’s greatest ever goalscorer – how many other midfielders can boast that status at elite clubs? – as well as the most consistent member of the Blues’ greatest ever team.
It is amazing to think that when Chelsea splashed out £11 million to prise Lampard away from West Ham in 2001, more than a few – this writer included – were unconvinced that he was worth the investment.
While young and industrious, he appeared to have limited athletic gifts and no outstanding technical attributes. It was difficult to see how he could drive Chelsea in an age when the targets were the biggest prizes in English and European football. Lampard was slow to silence the doubters, blowing hot and cold, going missing against top opposition and failing to dominate games from the middle of the pitch. But then Abramovich arrived and everything changed.
Many credit Jose Mourinho for the transformation, but while the Special One followed through on his promise to turn Lampard into the finest midfielder in Europe, the arrival of Abramovich and subsequent spending presented existing squad members with a stark choice: Step up or be shipped out. Lampard chose the former and enjoyed his breakthrough season under Claudio Ranieri, scoring 20 goals for club and country.
Goals soon became Lampard’s currency of choice. The comparisons with Steven Gerrard were persistent and tiresome but the truth is that he moulded himself into a midfielder unlike any other, armed with the uncanny ability to find space in the penalty area and score with either foot from almost any angle.
Over the years he has scored goals against all kinds of opposition, from Blackburn to Barcelona. He has scored goals everywhere, from Manchester to Moscow, and lots of them – at least 20 in seven of the last 11 seasons, and over 10 in every one bar his final campaign.
There have been plenty of important goals, too. Drogba largely owns the narrative of Chelsea’s greatest era with an astonishing record of goals in finals but it was Lampard who secured the club’s first league title in 50 years with a double against Bolton, as well as strikes in FA Cup and Champions League finals. He is a unique weapon, and Chelsea have reaped rich rewards from gearing their teams around him for the best part of a decade.
The record-breaking goal 203, scored against Aston Villa in May 2013, exhibited every quality that will define his legacy. Starting the move 20 yards out, he jogged into the area, checked in front of Fabian Delph, then timed his dart into the six-yard box to perfection. It was a tap-in, but the movement to set it up was as artful as any jinking run or defence-splitting pass. It looked easy only because he made it appear so.
There is no grand secret to Lampard’s success. Hard work has been the path. He was never blessed with the natural talent bestowed on Gerrard and many other of his peers, a fact that enhances his achievements rather than denigrating them. Along the way there have been minor blips but none of the petulant moments which characterised much of Drogba’s early Chelsea career, nor the scandals which have plagued Terry. It is Lampard, always eloquent and uncontroversial, who has been the perfect ambassador for the club.
And so it will remain. Wherever he goes from here Lampard will always be associated with Chelsea, and the club will feel his absence. For all Abramovich’s billions there can be no replacing him.
The piece on Chelsea’s website said it best: “…we have never seen his like in our midfield before, and we will be very blessed to again see his equal.”
So, farewell then Frank Lampard. The news that Lampard intends to leave Chelsea, with Major League Soccer his most likely destination, brings down the curtain on one of the Premier League’s most constantly fine, gracefully conducted, and yet somehow still, for some, oddly undervalued careers.
Lampard turns 36 this month. He was a Premier League player for 18 years, in which time he scored 250 goals for Chelsea and West Ham, won three Premier League medals, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League. In 2004-2005, his best season, he scored 22 goals as Chelsea won the league title for the first time since the days of Ted Drake; he was voted Football Writers’ Player of the Year and came second in the Fifa World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or.
A year earlier he made the Euro 2004 team of the tournament. Six years ago he scored in the Champions League final in Moscow. Four years ago he scored 30 goals for Chelsea and England in a single season. Between October 2001 and December 2005 he featured in 164 consecutive league games, without actually, at any stage, looking very tired. Basically stick a pin in it, over the last decade or so, and you’ll find Lampard doing something quietly, methodically extraordinary.
It is a story of overachievement more than anything else. Not the most obviously gifted athlete, not the most technically refined footballer, Lampard has been a relentlessly effective, relentlessly versatile, brilliantly intelligent midfielder of enduring heart and spirit. Really, what’s not to like here? And yet, of course, there has always been something in Lampard’scareer that brings out the sour side.
Oddly, for a player who conducts himself well and is hardly a strong-arm on the pitch Lampard has always been the subject of carping right back to his first seasons at West Ham. Footage of Harry Redknapp aggressively defending his decision to play the 18-year-old Lampardahead of Scott Canham at a fans’ forum (“there will be no comparison between what Frank Lampard will achieve in football, and what Scottie Canham will!” Redknapp almost shouts at one point) surfaced a couple of years ago. Poor Frank. He looks mortified. And yet, for some reason he has always drawn this peculiar skein of venom and resentment. At West Ham there was a suggestion at first he was only in the team because of nepotism. Perhaps he seemed a little too well-groomed and middle class-ish (check out that GCSE in Latin). There is a story in Rio Ferdinand’s autobiography where Ferdinand describes going around to Lampard’s house as a teenager and being reduced to awestruck silence by the sheer quantity of jumpers Lampard owned.
Knitwear wasn’t his only youthful indulgence. For a while at the turn of the century it seemed Lampard might have been headed down a brattish road after a couple of grisly, if not exactly fatal incidents, made the newspapers. Instead, after moving to Chelsea for what seemed at the time a colossal £10m fee, he became the model of an English player with the wit and the will to learn from the Premier League’s elite overseas influence.
Playing alongside Gianfranco Zola and Marcel Desailly in his first season – and managed thereafter by Claudio Ranieri, José Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luis Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Di Matteo, André Villas-Boas and Rafael Benítez – he might have shrunk or got lost in the flux. Instead he became a model of an adaptable domestic footballer: superbly fit, superbly aware of his team-mates, exploring season after season the outer limits of his narrow but brilliantly effective talents.
English players are often criticised for failing to go abroad and challenge themselves more. Lampard is the most complete example of an English player doing exactly that by staying at home and engaging successfully with the similarly nuanced and cosmopolitan challenges of a league where the world comes to your door instead.
Never a player for show, Lampard still moves about the pitch with that dogged, cross-country runner’s gait, shooting on sight – master of the favourable deflection – and generally providing a relentless, low-throttle, often decisive presence across the midfield. Straddling the fault-lines of billionaire owners, overseas players and the mushrooming out of the Champions League, it has been one of the great English careers of the modern era.
He will be a fine addition to the MLS, albeit there is still talk of Premier League clubs making a bid for a final sprinkling of late-career Lamps. “He will go right to the very top, right to the very top!” Redknapp ended up yelling out at the slightly chastened West Ham fan all those years ago. And so he did.
Eu poderia iniciar o texto escrevendo sobre os títulos, os recordes quebrados, as vitorias conquistadas… Mas prefiro dedicar este espaço ao maior ídolo do Chelsea Futebol Clube. Frank James Lampard Jr ou simplesmente Super Frank Lampard.
Eu era apenas uma criança quando o vi pela primeira vez. Você era um jovem meia, ainda questionado por estar vindo de um rival, começava ali uma bela história, talvez uma das mais apaixonantes entre jogador, clube e torcida.
De tantos títulos, jogos, gols e coisas memoráveis que você fez por nós, eu vou lembrar aqui de apenas uma, mas talvez aquela que ninguém nunca vai esquecer…
Parecia estar escrito no destino de todos nós, Blues. Um título tão sonhado, tão esperado, precisava vir com a sua liderança. Naquela noite, como em tantas as outras, você assumiu a braçadeira de capitão do time. Assumiu a posição de forma brilhante, se entregou durante o jogo todo, foi guerreiro na marcação e era o nosso toque de qualidade para fugirmos da pressão do Bayern… Mas antes de falar dessa final, tenho que lembrar de duas atuações espetaculares contra o Barcelona na semifinal. No primeiro jogo você mostrou toda sua concentração e capacidade ao tomar a bola do então melhor do mundo, Leonel Messi, e na sequencia deu um de seus milhares de passes espetaculares para Ramires, que correu pela esquerda e serviu Drogba, que marcou o gol da nossa vitória por 1 x 0 em Stamford Bridge. No jogo de volta, no Camp nou, quando estávamos perdendo de 2 x 0 e com um homem a menos, mais uma vez você apareceu. Foi o líder, foi a segurança e foi o que sempre foi, o jogador que aparecia no momento certo, na hora certa. Você mais uma vez deu um de seus passes fantásticos e encontrou Ramires livre para marcar o gol que nos deu a chance de segurar o Barcelona e chegar a tão sonhada final.
Na final, você pode ter sido ofuscado pela maravilhosa atuação de Cech, mas isso não diminui o que você fez. Você liderou o time, passou sua experiência, calma e nos levou até a disputa por pênaltis onde, mais uma vez, você não fugiu da responsabilidade, cobrou e marcou um dos nossos 4 gols na serie de 5. Quando Drogba marcou o gol que nos deu o tão sonhado titulo europeu você correu feito louco, se ajoelhou no campo e chorou… Chorou como um menino, como um homem, como um torcedor fanático que acabava de realizar o grande sonho de seu time. Na hora de levantar a taça você mais uma vez mostrou o porquê é tão diferente dos outros, teve a simplicidade de chamar o nosso capitão e lenda John Terry, ausente do jogo, para levantar a taça com você. Você nos deu a Europa Champions League e nós retribuímos com a nossa admiração, carinho e respeito eterno.
Hoje o nosso mundo está incompleto porque tivemos a confirmação que você não estará em campo conosco na próxima temporada, por isso já me faltam palavras para terminar esse texto em sua homenagem.
Você que chegou como uma promessa, sai sendo o maior artilheiro da historia do clube, o terceiro jogador que mais vestiu nossa camisa e sai sendo o MAIOR JOGADOR DA HISTORIA DO CHELSEA.
Todos sabíamos que isso iria acontecer, mas ter a confirmação oficial dói demais. Os corações blues estão tristes, as lagrimas caindo e só uma frase: OBRIGADO Frank Lampard!
Saying goodbye? Chelsea’s John Terry, Frank Lampard, and Ashley Cole salute the fans…
LEGENDS!! Don’t any of you leave us!