The latest edition of Chelsea pays tribute to Frank Lampard and also features an exclusive interview with Nemanja Matic.
Lampard will leave Stamford Bridge this summer after 13 years of glorious service. To celebrate his time in west London the official Chelsea magazine have selected snippets from some of the interviews they have conducted with him over the years, beginning in the summer of 2004, when Lampard graced the front cover of the very first edition of Chelsea.
‘We have to win something,’ the midfielder presciently declared ahead of the club’s first title-winning season in half a century.
‘The manager said he wants to take a trophy and you have to be big enough and strong enough to come out and say that – and believe it.’
Chelsea caught up with Lampard later that season with one trophy – the Carling Cup – already secured, and with the club on the brink of a historic championship title.
‘I was always ambitious, but I also think the manager has brought it out in me and the other players. All the squad – the regular players, the ones that don’t play so often, the staff behind the scenes, the whole club – we are much more geared towards winning.’
The victories and trophies kept on coming, including in 2005/06 when we retained the league title, and during that season Lampard spoke to Chelsea about how his move from east London to west came about, alongside class of ’55 champion Eric Parsons.
Further landmarks are covered in the feature, including the Double-winning campaign of 2009/10, our first Champions League triumph in 2012 and when Lampard broke the club’s all-time goalscoring record.
‘It was just a fantastic moment, really,’ he said of the strike that took him clear of Bobby Tambling’s longstanding record of 202 Chelsea goals.
‘You don’t know when it is going to happen, but I was delighted to level the record and break it in the same game – and in such an important game. It felt every bit as good as I thought it would, and more.
‘This club becomes you. Once you’ve played for it, you’re always welcomed back for the rest of your life, so you become Chelsea and it becomes you.’
There is also a photo album with some memorable imagery dedicated to some of Lampard’s Chelsea highlights.
More to come from Matic
Elsewhere in the magazine, Nemanja Matic speaks lucidly to Chelsea about his first few months back at Stamford Bridge and his hopes for the season ahead.
‘The Premier League is very hard, it’s a physical league and I think I have improved in that respect since coming back here,’ said the Serbian.
‘I just have to focus on doing my job, helping the team and do my best. If I help the team to win, I am happy. When I was here originally, I was 20 years old and I was a different player. I have worked very hard in the last few years and this is the result.
‘I am very focused on helping the team here, on enjoying my football and on trying to win trophies with this club. That is why I came back here – to try to win things, and also to show my quality – because I believe Chelsea is the right club for me. I want to stay here for a long time.’
Hall of fame
Gareth Hall is this month’s ‘Chelsea Icon’, and our former right-back, who spent 10 years at Stamford Bridge, recalls playing for his boyhood club, his busy debut and scoring the winner against Manchester United.
World Cup fever
With the World Cup now underway there is all you need to know about Chelsea’s connections with the greatest show on earth with a special A to Z feature. From Leboeuf to Le Saux, and from Bentley to Brazil, it is all covered.
Marco van Ginkel may be just 21 years old but he has still packed plenty in to his relatively short career to date, and in ‘Games that Made Me’ he looks back on those matches which have shaped his footballing journey so far.
More Academy joy
Our Under-21 side capped a magnificent season for our Academy by winning the Premier League play-offs, with victory in the final at Old Trafford the crowning glory.
The official Chelsea magazine takes an in-depth look into our success at that level, hearing from a number of the people involved including Dermot Drummy, final goalscorers Charly Musonda and Lewis Baker and head of youth development Neil Bath.