Frank Lampard is an attacking central midfielder who plays for England and Chelsea in the English Premier League. He has a habit of scoring important goals, and became the first midfielder to score 100 Premier League goals when he netted his 100th in February 2008. He works tirelessly, and has become a key player for Chelsea – captaining them on numerous occasions when John Terry is absent. He plays alongside Steven Gerrard for England, although commentators are still undecided as to whether they can play effectively together.
Frank Lampard was born on 21st June 1978 and was destined to become a footballer – his father, Frank Lampard Senior, and uncle, Harry Redknapp, both played professionally, whilst his cousin, Jamie Redknapp, also played for Liverpool and England before retiring. He enjoyed a privileged upbringing but always knew that he wanted to devote himself to sports and follow in the footsteps of his father. He signed up for the West Ham United youth team, where Uncle Harry was manager, at the age of 16, and was soon leaning his trade with the first team.
Lampard made his first team debut in January 1996, after a loan spell at Swansea. More time on the fringes of the first-team squad followed, before he became a fixture in the first-team in 1998/99.
In spite of his good performances at the centre of the pitch, most of the spotlight at that time was on a precocious young talent called Joe Cole. Some accomplished performances for West Ham ensured he was recognised as a player of some potential as West Ham headed up to fifth in the Premier League.
Had West Ham made ambitious plans for the future, Frank would have stayed, but instead West Ham sold team-mate Rio Ferdinand to Leeds, and also parted company with Harry Redknapp and Frank Lampard Senior.
Frank Lampard signed for Chelsea in July 2001, signed by Claudio Ranieri and immediately being installed into the first team. His hard work and never-say-die attitude was appreciated by the fans as well as Ranieri.
In 2003, Chelsea’s world was turned upside-down by the takeover of Roman Ambramovich, but Claudio remained faithful in Lampard, with £18m signing Juan Sebastian Veron left on the sidelines instead. Lampard could always be relied upon to give solid performances, and soon started netting goals in double-figures to help Chelsea win the Premier League for two seasons running following Jose Mourinho’s arrival.
Frank Lampard is now a world-class midfielder, and has remained ever-present in the first-team under numerous coaches (including ‘Big Phil’ Scolari), even though he is in direct competition for the spot with both Michael Ballack and Deco.
Frank Lampard first represented England at youth team level, making his Under 21 debut in 1997. Some solid performances for both England U21s and West Ham led to the Press calling for inclusion in the full squad. Lampard made his first-team debut in 1999. He didn’t do enough to win call ups to the Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002 squads, but had proven himself in the Premier League by the time Euro 2004 came around. He was named in the Team of the Tournament as England reached the Quarter Finals, and went on to become one of the first names down on the team-sheet at the 2006 World Cup.