Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba were inside the same stadium on Wednesday evening but, unfortunately for Chelsea fans, it wasn’t Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea legends reunited when Lampard’s New York City took on Drogba’s Montreal Impact in Florida as the duo continue their preparations for the upcoming MLS season.
Video footage shows the pair sharing a warm embrace and, no doubt, reminiscing about their eight years together in west London.
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Check out the video, posted on New York’s Twitter page, below.
Neither player actually featured as New York earned a 1-0 pre-season friendly win. Lampard’s team are currently managed by former Arsenal and Inter Milan midfielder Patrick Vieira, who had worked as a coach at Manchester City before taking over the reins in New York last November.
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Lampard and Drogba’s embrace is likely to bring up some fond memories for Chelsea fans, who watched the duo win 10 trophies together.
They lifted three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, one League Cup and, of course, the Champions League in 2012, thanks to Drogba’s winning penalty against Bayern Munich.
Their presence is sorely missed inside Chelsea’s locker room - it’s impossible to imagine the Blues lying 12th in the table, as they currently are, if they still had Drogba and Lampard in their prime. Both are 37-years-old but one presumes there are still plenty of Chelsea fans out there wishing they could see the two heroes donning a Blues shirt each and every week.
Under former manager Jose Mourinho, the Stamford Bridge locker room became toxic and, despite John Terry’s presence, the absence of Drogba, Lampard and recently-departed goalkeeper Petr Cech ensured the situation couldn’t improve.
Champions League glory
Their finest moment together came in 2012, when Chelsea lifted the Champions League.
It was Drogba’s final. The odds were stacked against Roberto di Matteo’s side even despite their unlikely win over Barcelona in the semi-finals and, after falling behind to Thomas Muller’s 83rd-minute goal, the dream appeared over.
But up stepped Drogba to head home Juan Mata’s corner in the 88th minute, sending the game to extra-time and eventually penalties.
Lampard scored his penalty and the Ivorian sealed victory in confident style, sending Manuel Neuer the wrong way to secure Chelsea’s first ever European title.
It was the spirited performances of Drogba, Lampard, Terry and Cech that propelled Chelsea to Champions League glory, but it’s tough to imagine the current crop of players being able to replicate their feat.
The Blues suffered a 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in their last-16 first leg clash on Tuesday but solace was found in John Obi Mikel’s away goal, which could prove crucial in the return leg on March 9.
Yet can they really overcome Barcelona and Bayern again this year? Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are playing at a level no other attacking trio has ever reached, while Bayern Munich are now managed by Pep Guardiola, the best manager of the modern era.
You’d give them half a chance if Lampard and Drogba were still available.