Here’s a look at the list of the candidates who have been nominated for this year’s Golden Foot awards.
Second on the list is Chelsea maestro Frank Lampard.
The winner of the award has to be above the age of 28 and still playing. Awarded for a footballer’s outstanding sporting achievements, the winner gets to leave his footprints on the Champions Promenade overlooking the seafront at the Principality of Monaco. Just like the Hollywood walk of fame, only slightly less cool.
Full Name: Frank James Lampard
DOB: June 20, 1978
Clubs: West Ham United, Swansea City, Chelsea*
Why has he been included on this list?
Frank Lampard has always been there for his club when they needed him. Despite the constant arrivals and departures of creative midfielders, the Englishman is a constant in the Blues’ team, even if he has been utilised from the bench more often over the course of last season.
Lampard is the perfect example of longevity at a club where since the arrival of Roman Abramovich in 2003, nine managers have come to and departed Stamford Bridge. Lampard was brought in to the club by Claudio Ranieri, who was the last of the managers of the pre-Abramovich era and that he had stood the fine-toothed comb examination given to him by the nine and has been ever-present for them.
That loyalty, however, is not a one-way street. Chelsea reciprocated that sentiment when they offered him a one-year extension to his contract which was expiring this summer.
While some players’ performances decline with age, Lampard has constantly reinvented himself as a player and adapted to suit the changes modern football has undergone to suit the needs of his team and make sure he is let go of despite being 35 and given his world-class performances for club and country, will have a place at Stamford Bridge for years to come, even if it is not on the pitch.
What’s he won?
Lampard has been very influential in all three of Chelsea’s Premier League triumphs in 2005, 2006 and 2010.
In 2005, he led the table for Premier League assists (16). The year later, he found the back of the net 16 times, his best seasons in terms of goal returns, setting the record for the most number of goals scored by a midfielder in a Premier League season.
He bettered that record massively when Chelsea lifted their third EPL title with a whopping 27 goals in 2010, a statistic that most strikers would be proud of, let alone any midfielder.
In addition to those titles, Lampard was also hugely influential in his team’s Champions League triumph in 2012. He scored the comeback goal against Napoli in the Round of 16 second leg and converted a very important penalty against Benfica in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
It was also Lampard who assisted Ramires at the Camp Nou and it was his key pass to the Brazilian that released Didier Drogba against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard made history on two levels last season. He overtook Bobby Tambling as Chelsea’s top scorer with a brace at Aston Villa and then helped Chelsea become the first side to hold the Champions League and Europa League at the same time when he lifted the Europa League against Benfica in Amsterdam, putting in a man-of-the-match performance.
In addition, he’s won several more trophies with the London club, including four FA Cups, two League Cups and two Community Shields.
Best and worst moments
Surely, Lampard’s best moment would have been as Chelsea captain, when he helped his team to their first Champions League triumph, beating Bayern Munich on penalties at the Allianz Arena.
His worst moment would definitely be in the same competition as well. In 2008, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, in the very first all-English Champions League final, the game went to penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Although Lampard converted his spot kick, he could only watch as Edwin van der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka and John Terry slipped as Manchester United lifted their third European Cup.
Lampard has had his moments with the England team as well. Despite being often booed by his own fans, he was named captain of the side ahead of Euro 2012.
However, he missed his penalty against Portugal at the World Cup in 2006 and infamously had a goal disallowed four years later in South Africa when the Three Lions took on old enemies Germany
What’s he like off the pitch?
Lampard has an exceptionally high IQ for a footballer, which was found out when he was given a medical test by club doctors.
He reads to his children every night and has received a contract from the same company that handed JK Rowling her publishing deal to publish a series of children’s books called ‘Frankie’s Magic Football’ which are based on the stories he tells his kids.
Lampard’s heavenward goal celebrations are a symbol of him dedicating his goals to his mother Pat, who died in 2008 from pneumonia. His father is Frank Lampard Sr., the former West Ham player and assistant manager.
His uncle is current QPR manager Harry Redknapp, which makes his son, Jamie, Lampard’s cousin.
Could he win the Golden Foot?
Lampard has always been there when his club have needed him and has always delivered when called upon. He could retire if he is not offered a further extension to his contract next year which means this could be his last chance to feature (as an active player) on the Promenade of Champions.
He has certainly earned the right to be on it, but might face stiff competition from others on the list.