Lampard on the brink of double glory for Chelsea

FA Cup and Champions League wins would dwarf anything the midfielder has achieved

For all the football that Frank Lampard has played at Chelsea, all the goals scored and trophies won, he feels his greatest moment at the club could be ahead of him.

Lampard, along with Didier Drogba, the other great lieutenant of the Jose Mourinho generation, plays the FA Cup final at Wembley this afternoon. Every final is important, but one two weeks before the Champions League final could be even more so.

Chelsea have won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups since Drogba – and, of course, Mourinho – joined Lampard at Stamford Bridge eight years ago. But all of that could be dwarfed by two big wins this month.

"The first league we won here was amazing," Lampard said yesterday, discussing his Chelsea achievements. "And if anything manages to beat that, then it would be truly special because that was amazing. But we are on the brink of something that could rival it, if not beat it.

"I think about it in bed at night. We all have those moments when you dream about being a part – and a big part – of a successful game, tomorrow or in two weeks' time. I know I've been fortunate enough to be part of big moments at this club and they've been the best moments of my career by a long way. And I'd love to be, I'd give everything to try and be part of a winning team for sure."

Of course, the prospect of winning Chelsea's first ever European Cup is an enticing one, and Lampard was not embarrassed to say just how much it would mean to him. "I think about it every night, I really do," he admitted.

"I've never been more aware about what a situation like this means, tomorrow and in two weeks. The FA Cup final is a game you are always going to want to win, and it's a massive game against a big team. And then that Champions League is something we've always wanted and I'm actually desperate to win it, I make no bones about that."

It all starts this afternoon at Wembley. Chelsea have never lost an FA Cup final in the Lampard and Drogba era, and the iconic Ivorian scored the winning goals in the 2007 and 2010 finals, and the equaliser in 2009. (Lampard, naturally, scored the other that time.)

Drogba certainly enjoys playing at Wembley, as shown by his remarkable opener in the semi-final rout of Tottenham Hotspur last month. "I feel comfortable on this pitch," he said. "When I decided I wanted to play football when I was young, I wanted to play in big stadiums like this. Maybe that's one of the reasons.

"We've had some good results there. We won, I think, all our FA Cup finals there, so it's a good stadium for us. Maybe it's our lucky stadium, I don't know."

Understandably, then, the stadium has a special place in Drogba's heart also. "I haven't been to the Maracana, but Wembley is, for me, the most famous one," he said. "Because it's England. Because my dream was to play at the old Wembley, where I saw all those big games: when Eric Cantona scored [against Liverpool in the 1996 FA Cup final]. The fantastic atmosphere, everybody cheering, and fantastic goals. So that was my dream, but I am quite happy with the new one."

Not many players are lucky (or good) enough to score a winning goal in a cup final, but Drogba has now done it twice. "I feel like a kid, feel like a kid scoring a winning goal," he described. "It's the same feeling for everyone, scoringa goal in a big game, a final, it's just a dream."

If Chelsea can win this evening, Lampard hopes that they can take that momentum with them all the way to Munich. "You hope that you want to get a result there," he said, "and carry the confidence through of a result in the FA Cup against them."

At the Allianz Arena, Lampard will face Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger, all of whom played for the Germany side which eviscerated Lampard and John Terry's England 4-1 in the last 16 of the World Cup in Bloemfontein two years ago.

Lampard is thrilled at the chance of testing himself against Europe's best again. "I've got lots of respect for them," he said. "I think that they're fantastic players and individuals. I've got loads of respect for Schweinsteiger – I've been singing his praises for years about what a top player he is – and Lahm as well.

"I love that German attitude they've got, the way that they approach their football and the determination they have as players. You saw that in their game at Real Madrid, going to the Bernabeu and digging that result out against all the odds. So it's not unfinished business, really, I'm just relishing the challenge of having to play against them again."

Lampard has been at the top of the European game for some time and knows that he has to make the most of his finite remaining finals. As impressive as Roberto Di Matteo's restoration job has been, the Mourinho generation will not last for ever. This month, eight and 11 years respectively after Drogba and Lampard came to Chelsea, could be their last shot at glory.

"Every final is different," said Lampard, who has no intention of letting these chances slip away through his fingers. "Your focus becomes even more, you understand, the bit longer in the tooth you get that finals don't go on for ever and you appreciate them. So I'll be looking forward to appreciating tomorrow."

Chelsea v Liverpool, kick-off 5.15pm (ITV 1/ESPN)

Ref P Dowd (Staffordshire).

Odds: Chelsea 6-4; Draw 9-4; Liverpool 15-8

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate