Frank Lampard will become only the eighth player to reach the 100-cap mark for England tomorrow (Tuesday) his national manager Roy Hodgson has announced.
Speaking in Ukraine ahead of the very important World Cup qualifier, Hodgson said:
‘He [Lampard] will play tomorrow night and I have been very lucky to have three players play their 100th game during the time I have been manager. All things being equal Frank will play and start the game tomorrow. Fourteen years is a long time to be representing your country.’
Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole, who earned his 100th cap against Brazil earlier this year, and Steven Gerrard are the two players who also recently joined the exclusive group.
The other players to have made 100 appearances for England are Billy Wright, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Peter Shilton and David Beckham.
Lampard, who has won all but two of his caps since moving to Stamford Bridge, made his international debut in October 1999 in a 2-1 friendly win against Belgium at the Stadium of Light, playing 76 minutes before being replaced by Dennis Wise.
His first senior international goal came in a 3-1 win against Croatia in August 2003 at Portman Road, when he fired into the roof of the net from 25 yards to put the seal on the victory.
A year later, at the European Championships, Lampard competed at his first major international tournament, and while England were eliminated at the quarter-final stage, on a personal note it was a fruitful experience with the Blues midfielder scoring three goals in four games.
Supporters voted Lampard England’s Player of the Year twice in succession – in 2004 and 2005 – and his five goals in qualification helped the national side secure their place at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but while he was an ever-present in the side throughout that campaign, England again exited at the quarter-final stage after losing to Portugal on penalties.
The 2010 World Cup will be remembered for the goal scored by Lampard in the quarter-final defeat against Germany which, having clearly crossed the line, was ruled out, highlighting the importance of goal-line technology.
Lampard captained England for the first time in February 2011, in a friendly against Denmark, and he was on target in the next two games as their place at Euro 2012 was booked. Unfortunately for Lampard a thigh injury ruled him out of the tournament.
His international career has seen him score winning goals against the likes of Spain and Brazil, while in the current World Cup qualifying campaign he has been a pivotal figure, scoring four times thus far.
In total, he has now scored 29 goals for his country and is England’s ninth highest goalscorer.
Along with Lampard and Cole, Petr Cech and Fernando Torres are the other players at the club to have reached the 100-cap mark for their national teams.
‘I enjoy being with this group of players,’ Lampard said this week. ‘I enjoy the manager, I have a lot of respect for him.
‘In enjoy playing alongside Steven [Gerrard] and Ashley [Cole], who I have played with a long time, and England as a whole – we want to get to the World Cup.’