UEFA Champions League
Lampard’s best of the best
As Chelsea legend Frank Lampard readied himself for his return to the Champions League, this time as manager, he sat down with Graham Hunter to discuss his greatest moments in the competition, including finally lifting the trophy in Munich in 2012

This article was originally published in Champions Journal issue 01. Read the online version here, or buy issue 01 here.

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UEFA Champions League
Lampard’s best of the best
As Chelsea legend Frank Lampard readied himself for his return to the Champions League, this time as manager, he sat down with Graham Hunter to discuss his greatest moments in the competition, including finally lifting the trophy in Munich in 2012

Best moment

“The best Champions League moment is Didier Drogba’s penalty hitting the back of the net in Munich. I didn’t enjoy the game, I didn’t enjoy it at all. It was painful trying to hang on in there, and trying to get the game to penalties in the end. But the moment that the ball hit the back of the net was sensational.”

Best goal

“My best Champions League goal was against Bayern in 2005, at home. It was the second goal I’d scored in the game; it was a chest and a left-footed volley on the turn, a half volley, past Oliver Kahn in goal. I’ve scored a few, but as I’ve got a bit older, I’ve looked back on that one and it’s the one I probably couldn’t do if I were asked a thousand times to do it again. Especially at my age now!”

Best opponent

“It’ll actually be three. The first one is Messi because he was the most incredible player, with balance, speed. It was like you were playing against someone who’s not on the same level as all of us. I know I’ve played against some other great ones, but he was special, incredible. I’m not telling anyone anything they don’t know. He wasn’t quite my position; the two players I always remember having the hardest time against were Xavi and Iniesta at Barcelona. On their pitch it felt vast, and they just played football around you; you didn’t get near them. At the Bridge we got slightly closer to them, but those two, as a pair, were something special. It was football that wasn’t normal to me. It was different from anything else I came up against. I have huge respect for them both.”

Best stadium

“I’d say Barcelona’s – the Nou Camp. It’s slightly dated behind the scenes but it has incredible magic, and that hits you as you walk out on to the pitch. The vast size, the atmosphere … you can almost feel Ronaldo, Cruyff, Rivaldo – that they were on that pitch. In 2004/05 we played against them, and Ronaldinho and Eto’o played like something I’ve never seen: the speed of their game. It was an eye-opener for me, and that stadium continued to be so throughout my career.”

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