Frank Lampard delighted to be able to visit some of Rio's famous landmarks
England captain Frank Lampard believes the chance to explore cities on tour with the Three Lions provides invaluable experience for the team.
Lampard lead a group of players that visited the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio and ahead of Sunday’s match and he has enjoyed the opportunity to meet the South American fans who hose next year’s World Cup.
He said: “We England players are aware of our responsibility. We can feel the magic of Rio and Brazil is a home of football.
“It’s a responsibility, along with the match and we’ve enjoyed it.
“It was great experience, you can spend a lot of time in hotels but it’s a great landmark to see. Personally I felt I had to see it in the flesh.
“Getting out and meeting people and getting to know the city helps, it’s a country not all of us have been to so we don’t want to see it all through a window.”
On playing at the refurbished Maracana stadium, Chelsea’s record goalscorer spoke about captaining a side there: “As a young English football fan I remember John Barnes scoring an iconic goal at the Maracana.
“It was the ground that used to hold 125,000 fans so I know how important and legendary it is.
“It means a great deal, with Steven Gerrard out I’m very proud to [captain England] in a great stadium against a great football team. I’m very proud.”
In a poignant twist for the prolific midfielder, a Brazilian couple revealed this week that they have named their newborn child after him and, in typically modest fashion, Lampard expressed his gratitude at the gesture.
He added: “What do you say to that? It’s an honour.
"I’d be honoured in London but to happen in Brazil is even more amazing. What can I say apart from 'thank you'?”