Friday 18 May 2012

Lampard wants to lead by example

Chelsea midfielder says UEFA Champions League final will bring out the best in players

Frank Lampard captained Chelsea for much of their battling display in Barcelona

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard says he plans to lead by example when the Barclays Premier League club take on Bayern Munich in Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final.

Lampard took the captain’s armband when John Terry was sent off in the second leg of the semi-final against Barcelona – and the England man oversaw a tremendous battling effort as the 10 men secured a 2-2 draw in the Nou Camp to reach their second final in four years.

"I was probably more vocal than I've ever been in Barcelona," Lampard said.

"We know that if you lose the final, people soon forget the semis and the quarters"
Frank Lampard

"It was so backs-to-the-wall.

"This time, I'll try to be vocal, I'll try and lead by example.

"I know the players - I've been here long enough - I feel the pride of it and you take on the responsibility of trying to lead.

"But we have got leaders and the occasion will bring out the big boys to lead the team as we go along."

No complacency

Lampard, who is likely to lead Chelsea in Terry’s absence at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Saturday, said the win over Barca would not instil complacency in the Chelsea team.

"We've enjoyed the feeling of beating the best because Barcelona certainly are the best team," he said.

"But we're clever enough to know that if you lose the final, people soon forget the semis and the quarters."

Lampard admitted that the turnaround in the club’s fortunes since they lost 3-1 in the last-16 first leg against Napoli had been remarkable.

"Football changes in a few seconds - it can go from the worst to the best and the other way around," he said.

"You wouldn't have looked ahead of yourselves and saw this.

"You're experienced enough to know things can change but, on that night, I don't think anyone of us thought it."

Lampard added: "Even if we don't win it, I'd have no regrets looking back. I'm very pleased and proud of the career I've had here."

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Key Points

  • Frank Lampard plans to lead by example in UEFA Champions League final
  • England midifelder is set to skipper the Blues against Bayern Munich on Saturday
  • Lampard says turnaround in Chelsea's fortunes has been dramatic