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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Euro 2012 analysis: England and Italy set for tight contest

Euro 2012 analysis: England and Italy set for tight contest


  • Venue: Olympic Stadium, Kiev
  • Date: Sunday, 24 June
  • Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: BBC One, BBC One HD, BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live
The current England and Italy teams share so many of the same characteristics that it is no wonder experts are expecting a tight encounter in their Euro 2012 quarter-final on Sunday.
Solid defence, a talismanic midfielder and a potentially match-winning striker are just three aspects which both sides will aim to rely on as they target a semi-final against Germany next Thursday.

Steven Naismith; Gers pair reject newco switch

Naismith and Whittaker consider themselves free agents

Gers pair reject newco switch
Naismith and Whittaker consider themselves free agents

Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker have rejected the transfer of their contracts to the newco at Rangers and consider themselves to be free agents.

The Ibrox outfit, who are now known as The Rangers FC after financial troubles forced them into liquidation, had claimed that all player contracts had been transferred and that anyone disrupting the process would face legal action.

They have, however, seen Rhys McCabe and Sone Aluko object to the decision, and Naismith and Whittaker have now followed suit.

Lawyers acting for the Scotland international duo claim their clients will not be reporting for pre-season training and are seeking new clubs.

A statement from Simon Catto of HBJ Gateley said: "Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker are formally intimating their objection to becoming employed by the transferee in accordance with Regulations 4(7) and 4(9) of the TUPE Regulations.

"Accordingly, Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker will not be attending for training or any other meeting next week and consider themselves to be under no contractual obligations to any party.

"They consider they are not employed by any party and are free to consider any employment options they wish."

Naismith, who describes himself as a "lifelong Rangers fan", has scored 28 goals for the club since joining from Kilmarnock in 2007, having originally been a Rangers trainee.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The press welcome Tito Vilanova

The press welcome Tito Vilanova

The Catalan and Spanish news outlets welcome the new FC Barcelona manager after yesterday's presentation 

The dailies cover Tito Vilanova's first press conference

Tito Vilanova’s presentation as FC Barcelona’s new head manager was covered in depth by news outlets and sports dailies of Catalonia and Spain. After claiming 14 titles during his time as Josep Guardiola’s assistant manager, Vilanova’s new two-year deal captured the attention of the sports world. 

Sport. A photo of Tito Vilanova features on the front of the Catalan sports daily along with the text: “serious, secure, sincere.” On the inside of today’s edition of Sport, Josep Maria Casanovas welcomes the new manager in an op-ed titled “Vilanova’s great debut... off the pitch”. Joan Vehils also welcomes Vilanova in his article “Tito Vilanova shows his gratitude to Pep Guardiola”.

Mundo Deportivo. “Mister Vilanova” features across the front of the daily, while Santi Nolla writes “his own profile” on the manager from Bellcaire d’Empordà. Miguel Rico’s op-ed also makes reference to the manager’s contract: “Vilanova: football and only football.”

El 9 Esportiu. The Catalan daily says the Vilanova is “Incomparable”.

El Periódico. The newspaper’s cover reads “Tito dresses up as Pep.” The newspaper also features an op-ed that discusses the presentation ceremony of the new manager.

Ara. “Pep encouraged me to sign”, says the Catalan daily. Joan Maria Pou dedicates his column to the new manager in the piece “Child’s play”.

Marca. The sports daily covers the manager’s first press conference: “Tito Vilanova’s plans”

As. The Madrid-based daily covers the reactions of Sandro Rosell, Andoni Zubizarreta and Tito Vilanova.

Messi on target with two goals in charity game

Messi on target with two goals in charity game

Messi stars for America All Stars against Mexico All Stars and then signs shirt for young fan 

All monies from the game, played at the Andrés Quintana Roo Stadium, to go to charity to help disabled children

Leo Messi made a public apology to the Mexican children who’d come to see him, after arriving a day late in Cancun due to an aeroplane problem and he then went on to give them a treat on the pitch with a typically impressive performance.

With two goals, Messi led his team to a 5-3 win against a Mexican All Star team, with John Viáfara, the Brazilian Diego and Dani Osvaldo also chipping in with goals in a game staged to raise money for disabled children.

More than 20,000 turned out to see the game and on three occasions fans ran onto the pitch to salute their hero- When one of them – a 12-year-old boy- was being escorted off the pitch by security men, Messi went over and signed the youngster’s shirt .

Leo Messi played the first 78 minutes of the game and was cheered off when he was substituted.

Desglossament: Messi very satisfied

After the charity game, Messi commented: "I am very happy about how it went. The fans responded and I think they went away happy”. The Barça man was also asked about new coach Tito Vilanova and he explained how happy he was with the appointment: ”we all know Tito well”.

Afellay’s Holland knocked out (2-1)

Afellay’s Holland knocked out (2-1)

Holland were knocked out of the Euro 2012 tournament on Sunday, following a 2-1 defeat to Portugal in the last game of Group B

After starting him against Denmark and Germany, Van Marwijk left Ibrahim Afellay on the bench and didn’t bring him on until 67 minutes

Holland had already lost their first two games of the Tournament and this Sunday they were again beaten, as Portugal booked their place in the quarter final with a 2-1 win alongside Group winners Germany, who defeated Denmark 2-1. This is the first time in the last six European Championships that the current World Cup runners up had failed to make it into the knock out stages.

The only way that Holland could have gotten through on Sunday was by beating Portugal by two clear goals and hoping for a German win against Denmark. Joachim Löw’s team did their bit and Holland began as if they might well be in with a chance of pulling off an unlikely comeback when, with a line up dedicated to attack, Van der Vaart put them ahead on 11 minutes. Unfortunately for the Dutch, Ronaldo had other ideas and just before the half hour, he pulled Portugal level.

23 minutes for Afellay

Ibrahim Afellay started on the bench and was finally brought on for the struggling Williams on 67 minutes with the scores still level. His appearance soon began to have an effect, beefing up the attack, but a quick counter attack from Portugal saw Nani lay on a second for Cristiano Ronaldo and sink any hopes Holland might have had.

Afellay played 71 minutes in the first game against Denmark and was taken off against Germany in the second, but despite that and this Sunday’s 23 minutes, there was nothing he could do to help keep Holland, who had begun as one of the favourites, in the tournament.

Catalan continues to be spoken on Barça bench

With Tito’s assistant Jordi Roura also in place, this is the sixth time there has been a Catalan pairing on the bench

Following his official appointment as first team coach, Tito Vilanova became the 14th Catalan manager. The first was Romà Forns, from 1927 to 1929 and since then, big names such as Josep Samitier, Salvador Artigas, Joaquim Rifé, Carles Rexach and Pep Guardiola have occupied the manager’s seat at the Camp Nou. All the Catalans were previously players at the Club except for Enric Rabassa who trained the team in 1960.

Second coach from Girona

Tito Vilanova was born in Bellcaire d’Empordà and is the second coach to come from Girona in the Club’s 100 year history, following on from Domènec Balmanya who was in charge between 1956 and 1958. The other 12 coaches were all from the Barça province.

Vilanova-Roura, Catalan pairing

There has only been an all Catalan tandem in charge of the first team on six occasions: Guardiola and Vilanova were in charge for four seasons – longer than either other pairing , whilst Domènec Balmanya was the first to have a fellow countryman as his assistant – Enric Rabassa.

Rabassa then became assistant to Lluís Miró in 1961, Josep Gonzalvo and Josep Seguer were at the helm in 1963, Salvador Artigas and Josep Seguer took charge from 1967 to 69 and Joaquim Rifé and Antoni Torres followed in the 1979/80 season.

Now it’s the turn of Tito Vilanova and Jordi Roura. Tito’s assistant was born in Llagostera and has spent plenty of time coaching at the Club. Once again, the coaches at the Club will be talking Catalan.

10 games played at the Parc des Princes

10 games played at the Parc des Princes

The friendly against Paris Saint-Germain will be Barça's 11th match at the Parc des Princes

Of these 10 matches, only three were against PSG

Here’s an overview of the 10 matches between FC Barcelona at the Parc des Princes:

• May 26, 1952. Copa Latina. Semifinal. FC Barcelona beat Juventus Turin 4-2 thanks to goals from Machón, Basora (2) and Kubala. 

• May 29, 1952. Copa Latina. Final. Three days later, also at the Parc des Princes, a goal from César on 79 minutes gave FC Barcelona its second Copa Latina. 

• June 8, 1955. Friendly. FC Barcelona beat Racing Paris 3-5 in a match where Suárez, Villaverde (2), Mahjoub (O.G) and Mandi were the goal scorers. 

• October 3, 1956. Friendly. As 12,000 spectators looked on, FC Barcelona fell to Racing Paris 4-2. Martínez and Basora netted for the Catalan club. 

• November 29, 1962. Friendly. Goals from Fusté and Kocsis gave Barça the victory of Racing Paris - it was the third friendly in seven years between the two sides. Barça won 1-2. 

• May 10, 1967. Friendly. FC Barcelona and Nantes draw 2-2 in a friendly where Silva scored both of the Azulgrana goals.

• October 9, 1974. Friendly. Barça face off against a selection of players from Remis and PSG. Cruyff (2), Marcial (2) and Heredia lead Barça to convincing victory (1-5). 

• April 19, 1977. Friendly. The first real match against PSG. The game ends in a 1-1 draw (Cruyff was the Barça goal scorer on 79 minutes). 

• November 13, 1982. Friendly. Five years later, both the teams face off once again. This time FC Barcelona manages to secure a convincing victory: 1-4. Quini, Maradona, Alonso and Morán are Barça’s goal scorers. 

• March 15, 1995. Champions League. Return leg of the quarterfinals. It has been more than 17 years since FC Barcelona have been at the Parc des Princes. It was a bad night for the Azulgranas, who were eliminated after losing 2-1. The two teams came away with a 1-1 draw in the away leg at the Camp Nou.

FC Barcelona will play on August 4th against PSG in Paris

FC Barcelona will play their third game of pre-season against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc dels Prínceps on Saturday August 4th at 20.00hrs (CET)

Barça will be taking part in the first edition of Le Trophée de Paris organised by PSG.

This friendly game is taking place thanks to Qatar Sport Investment and Qatar Foundation and their commitment to football as they bring together two of Europe’s most important clubs. The match will be a very exciting preview of both teams’ coming season.

Before the game in Paris, Barça will play a friendly match against Hamburg on July 24th for the German club’s 125th anniversary, and against a Morrocan Select XI in Tangier on July 28th.

Spain go through as group leaders (1-0)

A superb combination between Cesc and Iniesta was finished off by Navas to hand Spain a nervous win against Croatia and send them through to the quarterfinals as winners of group C

Reigning World and European champions Spain, featuring seven Barça players -four of whom started tonight’s game – are safely through to the knockout stage. However, Vicente del Bosque’s talented squad had to wait until the 88th minute to clinch a place in the final eight. Cesc lobbed a precise pass over the Croatian defence to find Barça team-mate Iniesta. He squared to Navas, who fired home into an empty net. Until that point, the goalless score line meant that a goal from Croatian could see them through and send Spain crashing out of the competition. Spain will now face either England, Ukraine or France in the next round.

Defensive first half

Both Vicente Del Bosque and Slaven Bilic opted for a cautious approach and a 0-0 draw combined with a draw between Italy and Ireland would send Spain and Croatian through. Cassano put Italy ahead in the 36th minute in the other Group C game but in Gdansk neither Spain nor Italy looked like scoring. Any ideas of the two sides settling for a 2-2 draw looked unlikely to say the least.

Croatia go for goal

Things changed for the better in the second half as Croatia pushed for the goal they now needed. Bilic made three attacking substitutions with Perisic, Jelavic and Eduardo, and his ambition almost paid off as a Rakitic header tested Casillas. In the 73rd minute, del Bosque brought on Cesc in place of Silva and the Barça man immediately made his mark. With Croatia facing elimination and Spain far from safe, the midfielder produced a sublime lob to send Iniesta clear with space to set up Navas for an easy tap in. Spain finish as Group C winners.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Drogba non-committal on Shanghai deal

Drogba non-committal on Shanghai deal

Drogba non-committal on Shanghai deal

Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba said Sunday that an announcement on his future was due shortly as he side-stepped questions about whether it lay with China's Shanghai Shenhua.
"The next step is interesting," the 34-year-old said during a visit to New Delhi for a sponsor's event when he was asked his future plans after leaving English Premiership giants Chelsea.
"I will announce it soon. But as of now, you will just have to wait."
The Chinese Super League club have been linked with Drogba, who announced his departure from Chelsea after helping them win the Champions League final against Bayern Munich last month.
Drogba scored a late equaliser and then a penalty to help Chelsea beat the German club in Munich to secure their first ever Champions League title.
Drogba is reportedly also being sought by Al Wasl of the United Arab Emirates.
The striker joined Chelsea from Marseille in 2004 and went on to score 157 goals in 341 appearances for the club, helping them win 10 trophies.
"Chelsea were very good for me," Drogba said. "I shared a special relationship with the club. It was a difficult decision to leave them."
If the deal with Shanghai Shenhua goes through Drogba could play alongside his former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka.
Shenhua's new manager Sergio Batista said on Friday that a final announcement on Drogba was unlikely to be made before the end of the month.
Drogba was due to take part in a 20-minute indoor football game alongside Indian cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Harbhajan Singh later on Sunday.

Euro 2012: England striker Wayne Rooney ready for Ukraine test

Venue: Donbass Arena, Donetsk Date: Tuesday, 19 June Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: BBC Radio 5 live, highlights on BBC One and BBC Sport website

Wayne Rooney insists he has no problems with his attitude or temperament ahead of a potentially hostile Euro 2012 atmosphere against Ukraine on Tuesday.
The England striker, 26, has completed a suspension following a dismissal in qualifying which excluded him from his country's first two games.
"What happened was a mistake and I've paid the price," he told reporters.
"I'm happy and ready to play. I've been looking forward to it and now I'm available to play I'm excited."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rodgers gives reassurances to Cole

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has boosted Joe Cole's hopes of resurrecting his Anfield career by insisting every player will start with a clean slate when they return to training next month.

The former England international spent last season on loan at Lille in Ligue 1 after a disappointing maiden campaign in 2010/11. However, the 30-year-old is well-known to Rodgers from their time together at Chelsea and the new manager, who has already spoken to Cole, stressed everyone will get a fresh start.

"I met up with Joe Cole when I was in Spain," said the Reds boss, who has returned from holiday to begin work at Melwood in earnest. "I certainly know he's looking to come back. I've got to assess all the players. For me it's fresh for everyone - I'll be new into the club."

England fans make right impression at Euro 2012

England fans make right impression at Euro 2012
England supporters have been on best behavious in Poland & Ukraine

Let’s hope we're not speaking to early, with England playing this evening. Passions are heightened, emotions extreme. All that stuff.

But at this stage, it is entirely reasonable to feel a little proud of how the England fans are faring at Euro 2012. It does, of course, say something about the depths of depravity of the past that because England fans are not ripping European towns to pieces or engaging in semi-military operations against foreign police forces, we can reflect on this and report it as good news.

“England fans do not destroy city” is a strange good news headline.

I wonder, though, about the effect that the Russians, the Poles and anyone else who currently appears prepared to wind back to the horror years is having upon the England fans. I say that particularly with particular reference to 1992, my first ever European Championships and my first taste of England hooliganism.

At those Euros, held in Sweden, I saw England fans tear the coastal city of Malmo to shreds. I recall poignantly walking though the city centre to the station the next morning and seeing the faces of the cityfolk – disgust mixed with bemusement – as they started to rebuild. It was as if a natural disaster had swept through town. Except it wasn’t natural.

And when my train arrived in a smaller town, Norrkoping, where Scotland were playing two matches, the extremes were heavenly. Scotland fans actually went out of their way to be the opposite to England. They took pride in making that clear. They loved being popular, fun, happy, the toast of the town, a good news story that had swept through an otherwise quiet Swedish city. They wanted to leave happy memories behind, not a trail of destruction. England had inspired them to be the anti-England. When you have images of unacceptable behaviour shoved unavoidably under your nose, the way everyone did in Sweden that year, then you are either part of it or you are not, and if you are not, then human instinct is to go to the other extreme.

It has taken a long time for England fans to cotton on. And I know this is a generalisation. I know the idiots and the ignorant were always a minority. But if you were in Charleroi, as I was for Euro 2000, you would know that that minority was nevertheless a fairly huge and terrifying army. The destruction of Charleroi was chilling in that it was predictable, savage and so very hard to contain.

But just look at the England fans now. British police officers who have been travelling with the England fans have expressed their concern not with the fans, but with the fact that yobs from other nations might be wearing England kit and looking to cause trouble under a different flag. They are looking to protect the image of the England fan, because, in a decade and a half, it seems to have come such a long way.

I wonder, then, about the psychology of it all. What do those England fans think of the horrific pictures that have made news everywhere – of the Russians and Poles in street battles. And what do they make of the stories of Russian and Ukrainian fans and the monkey chants directed at black players.

Will they not be like the Scots in 1992? When confronted with images as unacceptable as that, will they not be appalled? Will human instinct not kick in? Might they not be inspired to go to the other extreme? To be known as the good fans?

England fans know how it feels to be liked. I saw that in Japan at the 2002 World Cup. They liked being liked. They made friends and it was weird. It was like a personality disorder.

But the new personality has now set in and Euro 2012 is kind of an opportunity. Rather than be horrific, ignorant, unacceptable, be exactly the opposite.

Gerrard hails England spirit

Gerrard hails England spirit
England captain Steven Gerrard hails spirit in Euro 2012 camp

Steven Gerrard insists what England's players lack in quality they make up for in heart and desire.

Ahead of Friday's Euro 2012 encounter with Sweden in Kiev, manager Roy Hodgson positively bristled when it was suggested his squad are technically inferior to some of their rivals in Poland and Ukraine.

Gerrard has a more realistic outlook and believes the Three Lions have other attributes that need to be taken into account, saying: "These people who have that opinion are watching Spain and Barcelona.

"Of course we are not as technically gifted as those teams or that type of player. They are the best in the world.

"What we haven't got in technique, maybe we gain on them in heart, desire and commitment."

Roy Hodgson is set to partner Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck up-front as England look to record their first win of Euro 2012.

Lunchtime Report: June 15

Andy Carroll is set to start for England as the Three Lions look for their first win of Euro 2012 in tonight's Group D match against Sweden...

Euro 2012: Mario Balotelli may be odd man out in favor of Antonio Di Natale when Italy faces Croatia

Euro 2012: Mario Balotelli may be odd man out in favor of Antonio Di Natale when Italy faces Croatia
Mario Balotelli’s poor performance in Italy’s 1-1 draw with Spain may have sealed his fate in Euro 2012. The Manchester City striker was by far the low point for the Azzurra, who broke the game open against the defending champs once Balotelli was replaced by Antonio Di Natale. Not only was Di Natale up to the task, he also scored Italy’s lone goal, which has many clamoring for Prandelli to start him up top in place of Balotelli when Italy takes on Croatia this Thursday.

 Mario Balotelli, right, has serious competition in fellow striker Antonio Di Natale.


Mario Balotelli, right, has serious competition in fellow striker Antonio Di Natale.

Italian national team coach Cesare Prandelli and his millions of advisors, most of whom like to conduct their business in ports bars, are busy debating the Azzurri's line-up for Thursday's crucial group C match against Croatia.
By winning the game in the Polish town of Poznan, Croatia would be certain of a place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, with six points from two games.
Italy, on the other hand, desperately need a win after their 1-1 draw against Spain on Sunday.
Prandelli's biggest dilemma is upfront, where he has to choose between the reliability of veteran Antonio Di Natale, and the unpredictable talent of young star Mario Balotelli.
Di Natale, a 34-year-old from Udinese, displayed brilliant form as he put Italy ahead against Spain shortly after coming on for Balotelli, who had just squandered a glaring chance in front of goal.
The Manchester City striker, who turns 22 on August 12, was the least convincing player during the Azzurri's brisk game against the continental and world champions, leaving Prandelli with serious doubts about whether to give him a second chance.
It is not just age that separates the two. One is an unruly, global star with a blonde crest on a hairless scalp. The other is well-behaved, neat-haired and about 20 centimetres shorter.
"What I ask of (Balotelli) is to be very simple in playing situations," Prandelli said, "without wanting to change the game every time he gets the ball. Instead he must help the team, mostly by pressing forward."
As room for improvement abounds for "Balo," it is nearly impossible to find flaws about "Toto," as Antonio is often shortened in his native Naples.
Prandelli provided a convincing explanation as to why he had never used him in the qualification campaign, despite tallies of 29, 28 and 23 goals in his last three Serie A seasons.
"It is so easy to place him on the pitch that you do not need many trial games," Prandelli said. "He always plays into the opponents' defence and attacks as few in Italy can do. He is probably the best overall."
In a recent online poll by daily La Repubblica, 40 per cent of readers said they wanted Di Natale to play in Italy's next game. Balotelli, by contrast, was backed by 20 per cent of readers, while about as many would like the two to play together.
Prandelli has not ruled out the latter possibility, although Sebastian Giovinco and Antonio Cassano are also available.
Cassano started alongside Balotelli in the opening game against Spain. Asked who he preferred to play with, he later said: "Do you think I am going to tell you? The important thing is that I play."
That possibility, however, has become less of a certainty, after Cassano infuriated his coach by violating the team's code of conduct by using a vulgar term to describe homosexuals.
Apart from the issue of who to field in attack, Prandelli could also make major changes in defence, where Andrea Barzagli of Juventus is recovering from an injury.
Roma's Daniele De Rossi did not disappoint as a makeshift central defender against Spain. But given his good form, he would be even more useful in his usual midfield position.
Prandelli could then consider a return to a four-man defence, fielding Federico Balzaretti and moving back Christian Maggio. Antonio Nocerino could then replace Thiago Motta in midfield.
"Croatia are fast, powerful and unpredictable," said Prandelli, who must also be aware of the Croats' impressive record against the Azzurri.
Since obtaining independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, Croatia beat Italy three times and drew twice.

Euro 2012: UEFA looks into reports banana thrown on field by Croatia fans during match against Italy

Euro 2012: UEFA looks into reports banana thrown on field by Croatia fans during match against Italy
Italy and forward Mario Balotelli the victim of alleged racist abuse in both matches

A steward collects a banana thrown onto the field during Croatia’s 1-1 draw with Italy.


A steward collects a banana thrown onto the field during Croatia’s 1-1 draw with Italy.


European football’s ruling body said it had not opened a disciplinary case against the Croatia football association. Italian officials had also not formally complained, UEFA said.
Both Italy matches at Euro 2012 have now been the subject of alleged racist abuse by its opponent’s fans.
UEFA is currently investigating claims by a Spanish fans’ group that some Spain followers made monkey chants at Italy forward Mario Balotelli, who is black, during a Group C match last Sunday in Gdansk.
Balotelli started for Italy against Croatia, and was replaced in the second half.
Ahead of the tournament, Balotelli said in an interview that he would want to “kill” anyone who threw a banana at him. He also threatened to walk off the pitch if he was racially abused.
The Croatia FA was fined (euro) 25,000 ($31,500) on Friday for its fans’ behavior at an earlier match against Ireland.
UEFA said the sanction was imposed for “the setting off and throwing of fireworks and missiles, and a pitch invasion by a supporter.”
A Croatia fan was tackled by stewards after trying to reach coach Slaven Bilic following the 3-1 win last Sunday in Poznan, Poland.
After Croatia led 2-1, Ireland’s kickoff was delayed while smoke from fireworks cleared at one end of the stadium packed with Croatia fans.
Italy’s kickoff was also delayed by firework smoke on Thursday after Croatia equalized in the 1-1 draw. A further UEFA charge is likely.
Bilic said Friday it was “unbelievable” to see so many fans in Poznan.
“We were like the home side, it also lifted us and we’d like to thank them for coming because we felt their presence,” Bilic said. “Unfortunately, you will always find some individuals that cause the problems with some fireworks or with some whistles.”
In a separate case Friday, the Italian FA lodged a complaint with UEFA over Croatia fans whistling when Italy’s national anthem was played before the match.

Frank Lampard English Football Player

Frank Lampard English Football Player

Frank James Lampard (born 20 June 1978) is an English professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Chelsea and the England national team. He also holds the position of vice-captain for his club side. He is considered to be one of the best English footballers of all time, and is widely regarded to be one of the best midfield players of his generation.
Lampard began his career at West Ham United, his father Frank Lampard, Sr.'s former club. He had secured a place in the first team by the 1997–98 season, and the following year helped the team finish 5th in the Premier League, their highest-ever Premier League placing. In 2001, he moved to rival London club Chelsea for £11 million.
Internationally, Lampard has been capped 86 times by England since making his debut in October 1999, and has scored 22 goals. He was voted England Player of the Year for two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005. He played in Euro 2004, where he was named in the team of the tournament after scoring three goals in four games. He was top scorer for England in their successful 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign with five goals, and played in the 2006 World Cup.
He is England's most prolific penalty taker ever with 7 goals, surpassing the previous record holders, Ron Flowers and Alan Shearer. He was named the 49th highest earning Sportsman in the world, on June 2011.
Lampard attended Brentwood School between 1989 and 1994, finishing with eleven GCSEs, including an A* in Latin. His father is Frank Lampard senior, the former West Ham United player and assistant manager who was still associated with the club when Lampard junior was playing for them. His mother Pat died in April 2008 aged 58 as a result of pneumonia. Lampard's uncle is Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp and his cousin is Redknapp's son Jamie Redknapp.
Lampard lives in Surrey and London. He has two daughters with his former fiancee, Spanish model Elen Rivas, Luna (born 22 August 2005) and Isla (born 20 May 2007).
His autobiography, Totally Frank, was published in August 2006. In mid-February 2009, it was reported that Lampard and Rivas had split in November 2008 after seven years together, with Rivas taking between £1 million to £12.5 million in settlement fees from Lampard's estimated £32 million net worth.
Lampard was first spotted by England U-21 manager Peter Taylor, and his under-21 debut came on 13 November 1997 in a match against Greece. He played for the under-21 side from November 1997 to June 2000, and scored nine goals, a mark bettered only by Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers. Lampard earned his first cap for England on 10 October 1999 in a 2–1 friendly win over Belgium, and scored his first goal on 20 August 2003 in a 3–1 win over Croatia.
In the round-of-16 match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Germany in the first half, Lampard had a shot at goal that bounced off the crossbar and from TV replays was clearly seen to cross the goal line. If counted, it would have tied the game 2–2. However, neither the referee nor the linesman saw it as a goal, and play was continued. In the second-half, Lampard hit the cross-bar again, with a 30 yard free-kick. The final score was a 4–1 win for Germany, eliminating England from the tournament.As England exited the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Lampard had already achieved the record of having made 37 shots on goal without scoring in a World Cup tournament, more than any other player since 1966.
He scored in a 2–1 loss to Germany in a friendly at the new Wembley in 2007. He was booed by England supporters while coming on as a second-half substitute during England's Euro 2008 qualifying match against Estonia on 13 October 2007, and finished with one goal (in a 3–2 loss to Croatia on 21 November) as England failed to qualify for the tournament. He scored his first international goal in two years in a 4–0 win over Slovakia in March 2009, and also created another for Wayne Rooney. Lampard's goal was the 500th England goal scored at Wembley. On 9 September 2009,
Lampard struck twice in England's 5–1 win against Croatia which secured their place at 2010 World Cup. On 8 February 2011, it was announced that Lampard would captain the national team against Denmark in a friendly played the next day after both Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard were absent through injury. In the Euro 2012 qualifiers, Lampard netted two goals for England, both penalties. The first against Wales in a 2-0 win, and the latter vs Switzerland in a 2-2 draw, making Lampard England's most prolific penalty taker ever.
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  Frank Lampard
   Frank Lampard
 Frank Lampard
 Frank Lampard
   Frank Lampard
   Frank Lampard
  Frank Lampard's girl friend
  Frank Lampard
  Frank Lampard
  Frank Lampard
   Frank Lampard
  Frank Lampard
 Frank Lampard