Frank James Lampard OBE is an English former professional footballer and children’s writer. He is the all-time leading goalscorer for Chelsea, where he played for 13 years, and is considered by a number of journalists and football experts to be one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, in addition to being regarded as Chelsea’s greatest ever player by some Chelsea players, such as previous record goal-scorer Bobby Tambling and long-term teammate John Terry.Lampard began his career at West Ham United, for whom his father Frank Lampard, Sr. had also played. He secured a place in the first team by the 1997–98 season, and the following year helped the team finish fifth in the Premier League, their highest-ever Premier League placing. In 2001, he moved to rival London club Chelsea for £11 million. In 2014, he was released by Chelsea after 13 years of service. Lampard then joined New York City FC on a two-year deal, in preparation for the club’s Major League Soccer (MLS) debut in 2015, as a free transfer, but would play for Manchester City in the meantime. On 31 December 2014, however, BBC Sport’s David Ornstein revealed Lampard was under contract to Manchester City and not New York City as previously claimed by both clubs. From his debut, Lampard was ever-present in the Chelsea first team and made 164 consecutive Premier League appearances, a record for an outfield player. 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 year. He won a second FA Cup winners’ medal in 2009, scoring the winning goal in the final. In the 2009–10 season, Lampard helped Chelsea secure their first league and FA Cup Double, and also had his most prolific season with the club, scoring 22 league goals and 17 league assists. In 2012, Lampard captained Chelsea to their first UEFA Champions League success and a year later to their first UEFA Europa League title. He was released by the club after the 2013–14 season. A three-time Chelsea Player of the Year, Lampard is the club’s all-time top goalscorer with 211 goals in all competitions. Lampard is one of seven players, and the only midfielder, to have scored 150 or more goals in the Premier League. He is second in the Premier League’s all-time assists table, behind Ryan Giggs. In 2005, Lampard was voted FWA Footballer of the Year and was runner-up in both the FIFA World Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or. In 2010, he received the FWA Tribute Award. He has won 13 trophies in his career. Internationally, Lampard was capped 106 times by England since his debut in October 1999, and scored 29 international 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 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign with five goals, and played at three World Cups. He is England’s most prolific penalty taker with nine goals, surpassing the previous record holders, Ron Flowers and Alan Shearer. Since December 2015, he has been married to television presenter Christine Bleakley. Lampard currently serves as a team captain on the ITV sport panel show Play to the Whistle.
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Lampard was capped by England at youth level before making his under-21 debut on 13 November 1997 in a match against Greece. He played for the under-21 side from November 1997 to June 2000, and scored nine goals in 19 appearances, a mark bettered only by Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers. He was capped once by England B, playing in a 2–1 home defeat to Chile on 10 February 1998. Lampard earned his first cap for England on 10 October 1999 in a 2–1 friendly win over Belgium, and scored his first goal on 20 August 2003 in a 3–1 win over Croatia. Lampard became only the eighth English player to earn his 100th England cap, doing so in a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine, on 10 September 2013.
Did you Know?
Widely regarded by pundits, managers, and teammates as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, Lampard was an all-round and versatile box-to-box player, who was capable of playing anywhere in midfield; throughout his career he was deployed as a central midfielder, as an attacking midfielder, as a defensive midfielder, and even as a supporting striker on occasion. A hard-working player, with notable stamina and an ability to read the game, Lampard was also capable of functioning creatively and starting attacking plays after winning back possession, due to his technique, vision, and passing range. In addition to his creative and defensive midfield roles, Lampard also possessed a keen eye for goal, due to his ability to make attacking runs into the area, or produce accurate and powerful shots from distance. These attributes enabled him to maintain a prolific goalscoring record throughout his career, despite his deep playing position. Lampard was also an accurate set-piece and penalty kick taker.