England star says World Cup qualification in 2013 will be perfect FA150 gift
Frank Lampard says qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil would be the perfect birthday present for The FA.
As the organisation celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, the Chelsea midfielder has spoken about his anticipation for the months ahead.
With the World Cup qualification campaign concluding in October, there are also two games against Brazil and Wembley dates with Scotland and Republic Of Ireland to look forward to.
And Lampard is hoping that Roy Hodgson’s men can make it a year to remember for FA150, having been involved with organisation since the mid-1990s as an England U18 international.
He told FATV: “It's very important to mark this year, because I think The FA is a fantastic association. I didn't actually realise the history of it and how long it had been going, 150 years.
“It's certainly something we should celebrate as it's still going strong and as a footballer who is involved with them fairly regularly, I think they deserve a big party and a big celebration.
“First of all, to qualify for the World Cup is of main importance and there is work to be done, but I love the friendly fixtures we've got.
“I think in the year of an anniversary where we are celebrating, the idea of the romance of the Brazil games is great, home and away.
“I'm also pleased to see the home nation games coming back, it's great for the fans and for us as players, it'll be great to see the rivalry come back again.”
Lampard, 34, has had a glittering club career at Stamford Bridge, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League.
But representing England remains one of the highlights of his career, with 93 caps to date and appearances at two World Cup Finals and Euro 2004.
“I'm very proud to play for my country, from the minute I played my first game when I was so proud for my whole family to come along to that,” he added.
“I also think, as you get to the back end of your career and you know that it doesn't go on forever, you start to savour exactly how important these England games are; the minute you put on the shirt, the minute you travel to represent your country.
“My favourite moment in an England shirt would have been Euro 2004, it was my first major tournament and it was a successful one for me personally.
“We didn't go as far as we wanted to and maybe as far as we could have done, but it was the first time being away at a tournament and feeling that buzz of a tournament.
“Travelling to games and just seeing the fans, I'd never experienced the England fans travelling in such vast numbers before.
“I'll never forget the buzz I got going out to warm up for my first game against France and England fans had taken over the whole stadium basically. It was a very special moment for me.”
Watch the full interview with Lampard, in which he speaks about FA150, what English football means to him and his thoughts on The FA Cup below.