As the 2012/13 campaign winds down, so does the Chelsea career of star midfielder Frank Lampard.
Lampard was bought from the West Ham Academy for a fee close to £11 million. Frank Lampard Jr, the son of Frank Lampard Sr, the former West Ham player, would be held to high expectations when he arrived at Stamford Bridge. He was known as a player who was always last to leave the training grounds, always putting in an extra hour of practice than other players.
To his credit, Lampard is the only player in Premier League history to score at least ten goals in ten consecutive seasons. His best season was in 2009/10, where he scored 34 goals and 17 assists for both Chelsea and England. The Blues completed the double that season, 22 of Lampard’s goals in Premier League play.
In 2005/06, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard led the Blues to two consecutive Premier League titles, with Mourinho hailing Lampard as a key component of the Blues’ run. He eventually served as vice-captain, along with goalkeeper Petr Cech to back-up captain John Terry.
One of his most memorable moments was against Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals in 2008. After the news of the passing of his mother, Pat Lampard, Frank Lampard decided to play in Chelsea’s next match. He scored in extra-time on a penalty kick, after Michael Ballack was fouled just inside the area. He finished confidently, into the bottom right corner, and celebrated a 4-3 aggregate victory.
But nobody could forget that Lampard tucked home an important penalty against Manuel Neuer in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
As his days are coming to an end, Lampard is only one goal shy of Bobby Tambling’s record of 202 goals in a Chelsea shirt. Lampard has three more games to tie and perhaps surpass Tambling, against Aston Villa at Villa Park, the Europa League Final against SL Benfica, and the season finale at Stamford Bridge against Everton.
The final fixture against Everton will be Lampard’s last in a Chelsea shirt. Unless he is offered a new Chelsea contract, Lampard has been heavily linked with clubs in the MLS, notably the Los Angeles Galaxy, and Serie A club Lazio.
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