Frank Lampard was joined by British sailing legend and Blues fan Sir Ben Ainslie on the Chelsea TV sofa at Stamford Bridge on Friday night.
The Blues midfielder and the four-time gold medal winning Olympian were in the studio to discuss their own glorious careers, which continued to flourish in 2013 with Lampard securing the title of Chelsea’s record all-time goalscorer, while Ainslie led his team to Americas Cup success with a stunning fightback against New Zealand.
Upon taking his seat next to Lampard, Ainslie admitted to feeling a little uncomfortable to begin with.
‘I’m a little bit nervous because my football knowledge isn’t great. I’m a huge fan of Chelsea and Frank so very happy to be on the sofa with such a legend of football,’ he smiled.
‘I grew up in Cornwall, and Plymouth Argyle weren’t exactly at the top of the table, but Andrew Simpson, my friend who passed away this year, was a massive Spurs fan, so I thought I could be a Chelsea fan and it really annoyed Andrew. Ever since then we had plenty of banter, and Chelsea had a meteoric rise to become the best team in the country.’
Of course, that comes with winning the Champions League just over 18 months ago, a game the sailor remembers well.
‘I watched it in Cornwall, we had our world championships and it was the Olympic year,’ he explained. ‘We were down in Falmouth, and I was with Hugh Hastings, who used to work with Chelsea in the media department, and is still an avid Chelsea fan.’
‘I’d have hated to watch that game,’ Lampard responded. ‘I watched the Palace game last week from the bench thinking it was horrible, they didn’t create much and we were hanging on for dear life in Munich!’
Lampard told host Gigi Salmon our matchwinner that night, Didier Drogba, who will be returning to Stamford Bridge with Galatasaray in the next round of the Champions League, was the best player he had played alongside.
‘Solely for the fact of doing it in big games, and popping up in finals. Didier’s up there, without a doubt,’ said the 35-year-old.
While Lampard has a busy Christmas, Ainslie admitted he would be taking it easy and sitting back to enjoy some of our festive fixtures. You can of course keep up with all the latest goings on around the club with Chelsea TV.
Highlights of the Friday Night Live show are available now via the channel’s online access.