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Frank Lampard

Frank (Lamps) Lampard

D.O.B: 20th June 1978

Birthplace: Romford, England

Shirt Number: 8

Position: Midfielder

Height: 6' 0"

Previous clubs: Swansea, West Ham United

Signed: 15th June 2001

Chelsea debut: 19/08/2001

Chelsea honours: September 2004, broke Wayne Bridge?s 113 game Premiership consecutive appearance record for an outfield player. 2005: Named Sportswriters' Footballer of the Year.

National Honours: Represented England on 11 occasions. Captain of under-21 side in European Championships.

Frank Lampard has won a reputation as a goalscoring midfielder in a similar vein to David Platt. Another product of West Ham United's enviable youth system, Lampard rose through the ranks at Upton Park and spent a brief spell on loan at Swansea in 1995.

He is a player with vision, good passing and finishing skills with a very high work rate. He was an ever present for the Hammers during 1998/99 and made his full England debut against Belgium in October 1999. Lampard, however, failed to hold a place in Kevin Keegan's squad and missed out on Euro 2000 but was captain of the Under-21 side in the European Championships.

He was looking to further his international ambitions long-term after being named in Sven Goran Eriksson's first squad selection. The midfielder replaced Paul Scholes for the second-half against Spain, Eriksson's first game in charge, in February 2001 and looked perfectly at home in England's midfield, spraying passes to all parts of the pitch as England won the friendly 3-0.

Chelsea stepped in to bring him to Stamford Bridge in summer 2001, with manager Claudio Ranieri paying ?11million. Lampard was keen to exit the Hammers after his father, along with manager Harry Redknapp, had left the club. But he had a very slow start to his Chelsea career after making his debut in a 1-1 home draw with Newcastle United and was sent off in only his fourth game, at Tottenham Hotspur, and would not score his first Premiership goal for the club until Christmas. Despite remaining in the England reckoning, and with many predicting he would make the final 23 for the World Cup finals, Eriksson eventually chose to take former West Ham team-mate Joe Cole and Bayern Munich's Owen Hargreaves to Japan.

Understandably, given the strong competition for places, he found it hard to break into the England midfield and made a disappointing return to the national side in the 3-1 defeat to Australia in February 2003. But after impressive start to the 2003/4 season he retained his place in the England squad and scored his first international goal as England beat Croatia 3-1 in a friendly at Portman Road in August.

It was that same season that Lampard truly began to come of age. He would win numerous plaudits for his energetic displays in the Chelsea midfield to leave people calling for him to become an England regular. That is in stark contrast to his previous image internationally, with many claiming he should not even be in the squad. But amid the uncertainty caused by the influx of Chelsea's expensive summer signings it was Lampard who blossomed to remain the only ever present in 2003/04.

It is a quite a turnaround for a player once lambasted for his inadequacies to now be lauded by pundits and team-mates alike. He scored ten Premiership goals that season, and 15 in total, before being a star turn at Euro 2004. Lampard bagged three goals in four games as England reached the quarter-finals, cementing a place for himself in the starting line-up. He would go on to be named in UEFA's squad of the tournament. Whereas before he could be dubbed one of the Premiership's best, he is now one of the top midfielders in Europe.

(Information from soccernet.com)

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