England can beat anyone, and victory over Brazil proves it, says Frank Lampard
Midfielder scored the winning goal in 2-1 victory at Wembley
Thursday 07 February 2013
England's win over Brazil proves they are capable of beating anyone in the world, a bullish Frank Lampard claimed today.
Lampard struck one of the best goals in his 14-year England career last night to help the Three Lions secure their first victory over the Selecao in almost a quarter of a century.
Although Brazil's current crop are nowhere near as good as the Samba stars who overcame England in 1970 and again in 2002, the way in which Roy Hodgson's men neutralised the attacking threat of Neymar and co at Wembley deservedly won high praise.
England have now beaten Brazil and Spain, who have won six World Cups between them, over the past 15 months.
Lampard acknowledges that statistic is undermined slightly by the fact that both came in friendly matches, but he insists morale is now so high that the Three Lions are confident of beating anyone who crosses their path.
"We have got the confidence to beat any team in world football on our day," the Chelsea midfielder said.
"We have done it against Spain and now Brazil. I think we can be happy with ourselves.
"We are certainly heading in the right direction. I am not sure we would have had the capability two years ago to follow through and actually win that game.
"We can improve as well. We might not have dominated the game, but we have beaten Brazil and you can't look badly on that. It's a long time since England have done it."
Lampard picked up Wayne Rooney's pass in the second half and curled a peach of a finish past Julio Cesar via the inside of a post to seal the win.
There were doubts over whether Lampard would play for his country again following his withdrawal from Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad through injury.
But having scored 14 goals in 32 appearances prior to last night's game, Hodgson could not ignore the 34-year-old despite the emerging midfield talents of Jack Wilshere and Tom Cleverley.
The Chelsea midfielder, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is now just six caps short of becoming England's eighth centurion, and he has no plans to quit the international scene any time soon.
"I won't retire whatever happens," said Lampard, who made his England debut in 1999 against Belgium.
"I am pleased that (Hodgson has faith in me). You don't know if everything is going to be the same after an injury.
"You know it won't go on forever. Every time I am in or around the squad I give my all, whether it's starting or on the bench.
"I have a lot of respect for the manager. I think he respects that I want to help in any way I possibly can and if I can keep going then brilliant."
England put Brazil under pressure from the off yesterday and could have built a comprehensive lead by half-time. They had to settle for a one-goal cushion thanks to Wayne Rooney's strike, and they immediately shot themselves in the foot after the break, gifting the away side an equaliser.
The normally dependable Gary Cahill dribbled the ball out of defence, but he lost possession, the ball rolled to Fred, and he beat Joe Hart from 18 yards.
Hodgson chose to keep Cahill on the pitch and the move paid off as he tightened up at the back and he then almost grabbed England's second with a point-blank header which Julio Cesar did well to save.
"I thought he played well before and after (the mistake)," Lampard said of his Chelsea team-mate.
"He is a perfectionist. He is a very, very good defender.
"I was chatting to him in the dressing room after the game. I told him not to worry about it. He made a mistake and when you do that you have got to stand up again and be outstanding and he was so we can forgive him for that."
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