Frank Lampard: The Lion’s Roar

Although John Terry and Didier Drogba are heroes of Chelsea's rise to the apex of English football, Frank Lampard is still the key to the team's success.

Chelsea player is the offensive muscle in England’s midfield

Frank Lampard  

Born: June 20, 1978, in Salisbury, England

Position: Midfielder

Nickname: Lamps

Clubs played for: Frank Lampard was a member a famous group of West Ham United youngster (including Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand) who learned to chop the sod with their cleats in the Hammers' youth system. Like his fellow wunderkinds, Lampard left West Ham to find success at a club with trophy-gilded aspirations. Lamps settled on Chelsea in 2001. Since then, the England international has become irreplaceable for the Blues, a powerful offensive piston in the centre of Chelsea's midfield. Lampard has scored 157 goals in 473 games — an exceptional achievement for a midfielder — winning three Premiership titles, two FA Cups and two League Cups.

Internationalcareer: Lampard earned his first cap for England in 1999. Alongside Steven Gerrard, Lampard orchestrates England's offence and is also counted on to score goals with his trademark low, awkward strikes. 

Why is he sospecial? Although John Terry and Didier Drogba are heroes of Chelsea’s rise to the apex of English football, Frank Lampard is still the key to the team's success. Under José Mourinho, Lampard excelled in the Portuguese master's shrewd, possession-drive system and he has continued to be a practitioner since Mourinho's departure. Furthermore, just as Gerrard rises to the occasion for Liverpool, Lampard can always be counted on to deliver when Chelsea needs a goal.

His most famousmoment: Lampard's penalty in the eighth minute of extra time in the 2007-2008 Champions League semifinal against Liverpool put Chelsea on the brink of its first-ever appearance in the European showpiece. Lampard would go on to score in the final in Moscow, which Manchester United won on penalties.

He saidit: "We (England) are not the finished article whether it is defensively or attack wise, but hopefully we will get it right for when it really matters."

What they're saying about him: "He is very difficult to block even if you mark man-to-man because he is a very dynamic player. A player who can score an average of 20 goals a season from midfield is unique." — Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea manager.

Here's an interesting fact: Although it seems absurd to accuse a professional athlete of being fat, Lampard is often called Fat Frank because of his round face and love of sweets.