Rafael Benitez says Frank Lampard is capable of playing at the highest level through to the 2014 World Cup
Chelsea midfielder is out of contract in the summer
Monday 11 February 2013
Rafael Benitez believes Frank Lampard is capable of playing at the highest level up to and including the World Cup.
The 34-year-old's future is clouded in uncertainty, with contradictory reports over whether Chelsea are prepared to offer him a contract to extend his 12-year stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.
Lampard, who again showed his value to the Blues with the third goal in a 4-1 Barclays Premier League defeat of Wigan on Saturday, has no shortage of admirers and offers are sure to follow if he does leave Stamford Bridge.
Benitez would not be drawn on Lampard's Chelsea future, but, asked if the midfielder could feature in Brazil, the interim Blues boss said: "Yes, I think so. He is a good professional. If he has no injuries he can still play at a good level."
Lampard, who is 35 in June, has scored nine goals in his last 14 matches for Chelsea to move within four of Bobby Tambling's club record of 202.
He also netted the decisive strike in England's 2-1 defeat of Brazil - his 27th international goal in his 94th appearance.
Benitez believes David Luiz, who captained Brazil at Wembley, moving into midfield has given Lampard the opportunity to influence games in attack.
"When he (Lampard) has a holding midfielder it's easier for him to go forward," Benitez added.
"David Luiz can give you balance in the middle. He understands the role.
"He knows Lampard and Ramires are players who like to go forward, so to have a player like Luiz who can stay in the middle is important for him and also for the centre-backs because they are more protected.
"His quality in possession is really good. He's a player that can see the game and pass the ball with pace. "He can still improve his shooting - but he is doing well."
Latest in Sport
Norwich 2 Liverpool 3 match report: Liverpool go five points clear of Chelsea at top of Premier League table on day Luis Suarez hits goal number 30
Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker shows both his sides after hitting 30 Premier League goals but play acting yet again
Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Graceless reaction of Jose Mourinho a sad effort to hide his own flaws
Liverpool: Three remaining fixtures - can they remain on top of the Premier League table?
WWE Smackdown Results: Batista sends signals to The Shield ahead of their 6-Man Tag at Extreme Rules
- 1 Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Graceless reaction of Jose Mourinho a sad effort to hide his own flaws
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
Ukraine crisis: Helicopter gunships take country closer to all-out war