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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Frank Lampard: Chelsea for Life

Frank Lampard pledged to give Chelsea “the best five years of my career” last night after signing a £33million five-year contract that makes him the highest-paid 30-year-old in domestic history.

The Chelsea midfield player should achieve his wish of finishing his career at Stamford Bridge thanks to an innovative deal in which his wages will continue to rise from their present level of £121,000 a week to a peak of £140,000 in the third year of his contract, before being reduced in the final two years.

Lampard's contract negotiations have been ongoing for more than 2 years, although the delay has not proved too costly because, having turned 30 in June, it is the most lucrative deal signed by a Premier League player of his age. Talks reached an impasse this summer over the length of the contract, as revealed by The Times, but a solution was reached this week after compromise on both sides, with Lampard being given an extra year on reduced terms.

John Terry's £135,000 a week remains the highest at the club, but Lampard's contract has an equivalent value over its full term.

"I spent a lot of time with my family, thought thoroughly about what I wanted to do, and now I've come back for pre-season, we've had a few conversations in the last couple of weeks, particularly since I've been back from China,” said Lampard.

"I've had seven fantastic years here so far and now I have the potential to hopefully have another five fantastic years and finish my career here. Whether that is five years or more I don't know, but that is me happy and staying here at Chelsea."

“I wanted to sign a five-year deal because, having just turned 30, I feel I've got more than five years left in me,” he said. “I pride myself on my fitness and my training and I feel these will be the best five years of my career to come.

"I see it as my final big contract and I will play out my days at Chelsea," he told Chelsea TV.

"I want to finish my career at Chelsea.

"It is something I've said many times and, after signing this contract, I am very happy and positive I will finish as a player here."

"I've had seven great seasons here and now I can have many more."

“I set out to improve every year as a player. I feel as fit as I've ever felt and I train as hard as I've ever trained. This contract will take me to 34 and if you look around there are a lot of top professionals playing, like Ryan Giggs, offering a lot to their club both on the pitch and off it. And I certainly feel that I can do that in a big way.”

Lampard has spoken of a desire to play abroad - he was tempted with the idea of a reunion with José Mourinho at Inter Milan - but credited his team-mates for convincing him to stay, particularly the support shown to him after the death of his mother in April. Chelsea's determination to keep him also played its part, with the club rejecting two bids, one of about £9.5million, from Inter last month.

“I think it helped coming back, training at Chelsea, seeing my team-mates, seeing the manager, feeling comfortable among the lads,” Lampard said. “The Man United game and what they did there was a big thing. I sat and watched that game with my family and when they removed their shirts [dedicating the victory to his mother] it was a very emotional moment. I will never forget it. I can't speak highly enough of the lads and what they did. John [Terry] as a captain creates that kind of spirit and the others follow because they are all great lads.

“When you go to your mum's funeral, you don't expect all the players to go there; you might expect a representative from the club. I had all the lads there. And that's something that goes beyond football and shows you what real friendships are.”

Peter Kenyon, the chief executive, hailed Lampard's deal, but warned Didier Drogba and Joe Cole that they would have to wait until next year for new contracts. “It could well be our best signing this summer,” Kenyon said. “I think it's important because it makes a statement about us keeping our best players.

“Didier and Joe Cole have two years to go. Both those contracts and discussions have been put on the shelf and will be revisited next year.”

'Deco Is Awesome' Says Terry

Chelsea captain John Terry has hailed new boy Deco's 'awesome' talent, and believes he will make a great impact this season.

At the end of June Chelsea signed Deco for £8million from Barcelona on a three year deal. The new number 20 is a two-time Champions League winner, once with a Jose Mourinho managed FC Porto, and once with Barcelona.

It is this European winning mentality that has seen him arrive in London, as Chelsea attempt another campaign in Europe's premier competition.

Chelsea's captain John Terry has further talked up Deco's arrival, he is quoted in Metro as saying: "The manager has made some great signings. I never realised before how good Deco is," he further expained "I played against him four or five times in the past and he's probably one of the best I've ever trained with or played against."

Regarding the strengths of the Brazil-born Portuguese international, he said: "He looks awesome. He has a great touch, opens up defences, and can pass the ball." On the aspect of his play that he admires most, Terry added "He gets stuck in as well, which I like about him."

"He makes it look so easy and is a class act. When you see him day-in day-out you realise how determined he is."

On his motivations for switching allegiances to a club that Barcelona have built up a European rivalry with in recent seasons, the Chelsea skipper stated that "things haven't gone too well for him over the last couple of years and he wants to prove himself. There's no better place to do that than at Chelsea."

Deco is not the only Portuguese international to join the Chelsea ranks this summer, Jose Bosingwa was the first signing of the summer in the pre-Scolari era.

Bosingwa recovery helps Scolari’s masterplan

Luiz Felipe Scolari received some good news yesterday in the run-up to Chelsea’s opening Barclays Premier League match against Portsmouth when José Bosingwa returned to training after three weeks out with a thigh injury. The Portugal right back has not played since limping off 20 minutes into his debut against Ghangzhou Pharmaceutical in China last month, but has an outside chance of being fit to face Harry Redknapp’s side at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Bosingwa was signed for £16.1 million from FC Porto before Scolari was appointed in June, but has already become integral to the new manager’s plans. In an attempt to shoehorn Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Michael Essien and Deco into midfield, the Brazilian is planning to start the season with a 4-1-4-1 or 4-2-3-1 formation, which relies on the full backs to provide width in attack.

Bosingwa is the most attacking full back at the club and is likely to flourish in such a system, while Ashley Cole can also look forward to being given more licence to go forward after his natural instincts were stymied by José Mourinho and Avram Grant. Essien missed training with a knock yesterday, but is expected to have recovered by the weekend.

Scolari has told his players that their priority this season should be to regain the Premier League title from Manchester United, but Deco insists that they can win the Champions League as well. And the Portugal international should know, having lifted the trophy with FC Porto and Barcelona and he hopes to complete a remarkable hat-trick with Chelsea.

“Of course I’d love to win the Champions League with Chelsea,” Deco said. “Everyone here wants to win titles and that’s why I chose the club. I truly believe that what I see at Chelsea is a lot of quality and I think we have everything necessary to win the Champions League and also the Premier League again, too.

“I could have just stayed at Barcelona. I had two years left of a very good contract and it’s a lovely, sunny place to live, but I wanted new challenges and new objectives. For me it was so important to go to a place where I could still have the challenge to win things. I believe this Chelsea team is very strong and I believe we can make history by finally winning the Champions League. I still have the will to win more titles which is why I came here.”

Chelsea chief Kenyon admits Real Madrid's Robinho still on radar

Chelsea chief Peter Kenyon admits they're not giving up on landing Real Madrid winger Robinho.
The Brazil forward would bolster the options of boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, who can now be certain of Frank Lampard being in his midfield after 18 months of contract stalemate ended in the England international signing a five-year deal.

On the possibility of signing Robinho, Kenyon said: "It is continuing. Hopefully not for as long as the speculation about Frank.

"We've still got a few days left of the window and hopefully we'll get a result."

Source:,, TimesOnline, Telegraph, Guardian, Tribalfootball


Soccer Boots Blog said...

Can Robinho play with his own style in the EPL? Or someone will break his leg like cisse? Will see...