On the 2nd of February, Frank Lampard took to Instagram to announce his retirement from professional football. Many people will say that he retired as soon as he signed a contract with New York City, but only now is his retirement official. At the start of his career, who could’ve predicted that the teenager sporting a fashionable centre parting would go on to become one of the greatest midfielders of his generation? Apparently Uncle Harry did. In an interview, that has recently re-emerged, Harry Redknapp explicitly stated that his nephew would go “right to the very top”. We’ve all experienced pushy parents at some point in our lives, but not many of us have had family members promise greatness in front of world media. No pressure Lamps. Luckily for all involved, Harry’s prediction came true and we were treated to the greatest footballer ever to be called Frank.
Today I saw a poll on Twitter, asking who was better, Lampard or Gerrard. As a Liverpool fan I fully disagree with the result, because the Chelsea man won by a landslide. Likewise, Chelsea fans would be ecstatic with the result and United fans would be disgusted that Scholes wasn’t included in the debate. We’re forever comparing our most talented players. I’m constantly seeing, “Who’s better Messi or Ronaldo?” Can’t we just appreciate that we’ve been blessed to watch these superstars in their prime and be distraught together, that Stevie G and Super Frankie never clicked in an England shirt. The answer is Messi by the way.
Without a doubt, my favourite Lampard moment came in 2006. When he so elegantly lobbed Manuel Neuer to draw England level, chills went down my spine. I cried as he rallied the troops and we came from 2-0 down, to ultimately win 3-2 and qualify for the quarter finals. It was beautiful. Oh wait, that’s not how it went, was it?
Lampard’s face became synonymous with Chelsea, as he went on to score 147 goals for the club. He left a hero, as the Blues all-time leading goal scorer. He also left a snake, as he joined title rivals Manchester City and will probably be the last business we see between the two clubs for a while. Seriously though, he will forever hold a special place in Chelsea supporter’s hearts as they understand the move was just something he had to do.
I must doff my cap to Frank Lampard, as I applaud his wonderful career, and thank him for everything he did for English football. But Gerard was better.