VIDEO: Lampard proud at captaincy
Nicholas Veevers in Copenhagen
Tuesday, 08 February, 2011
Midfielder speaks of his joy at captaining England in Denmark.
Click here to watch highlights from the press conference.
Become a FAN of England on Facebook -
Buy tickets for England v Ghana at Wembley - click here
England’s Frank Lampard admits that Wednesday evening’s game in Copenhagen will represent one of the proudest moments of his career, after he was named as captain for the match with Denmark.
With Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard both absent from the squad through injury, Fabio Capello has chosen the Chelsea midfielder to be the man who leads out the Three Lions and hopefully to their first victory of 2011.
Having previously only held the armband for a short time during the second half of a game with Austria in Vienna back in 2007, this will be Lampard’s first opportunity to take the honour and he couldn’t hold back just how special the moment will be for him.
“I’m just a very proud man at the moment,” he revealed. “I’ve been in the squad for a long time and feel like one of the older stagers now so it’s going to be one of the proudest moments of my career to lead out the boys.
“I know it’s a cliché, but you do grow up dreaming of that moment and now it’s been thrust upon me.
“I had it (the captaincy) in the second half against Austria, in the Steve McClaren reign and I was very proud at that time and have a few pictures of it indoors, but to actually walk out is a huge deal and I’m still in awe of many a player who’s done that.”
Not only is having the captaincy a big issue for Lampard, he also wants to use this game to try and fix himself firmly in Capello’s thoughts for the forthcoming games, starting next month in Cardiff.
England resume their European Championship qualifiers against Wales and after missing the last four internationals due to injury in the first half of the season, this game is a chance to stake his claim in the Manager’s plans.
“I’ll try and do what I do for Chelsea,” he added. “I’ll just go out and play as an example and try and speak to the people around me. I won’t change my character in the day because of an armband.
“And hopefully that can have a strong influence. The team will always need leaders, and there are a few leaders here already, but I’ll just try and put my influence on the team.
“It will always be a huge honour to play for my country and I know from being in the squad just how excited everybody is to play.”
Lampard is certainly aware of the challenge on offer to his side though, after experiencing a 4-1 defeat at the same Parken Stadium in 2005 under Sven Goran Eriksson.
And with a fixture here again in two weeks time against FC Copenhagen for Chelsea, it’s something he hopes won’t affect England this time.
“I remember the atmosphere when we played here last and we know it’s going to be a very tough game for us,” he explained.
“The Danish team is very strong. They always produce sides with a very strong team ethic and they will work very hard.
“It’s very important for us as it is for Denmark. We have qualifying games coming up and we haven’t been together for a few months so it’s very important to get the team together.
“We don’t want to come here and lose the game and go into the Wales game with a bad feeling.”
The former West Ham United man also reserved words of special praise for team-mate Ashley Cole, who was named as the England Player Of The Year for 2010.
Having played alongside Cole for both club and country, Lampard will also see the left-back become England’s most capped player in that position tomorrow if he makes his 87th appearance.
“I think he’s quite well recognised now as our greatest ever left-back and I think breaking the records for caps speaks for itself and his record for Chelsea speaks for itself,” he said.
“A lot of nonsense gets spoke about him, but knowing Ash as a lad, he’s great and when you take away all of that outside stuff and look at his performances and what he’s done, to get recognised as the best player of last year is right and he deserves it.”