The former West Ham team-mates have remained in regular contact throughout their careers, having maintained the bond first forged at Upton Park during their respective international careers.
To be Frank: Ferdinand admits he doesn't talk to Lampard at the business end of the season
However, when medals start to be polished and trophies are being prepared to get handed out, contact stops.
It is a well-established tradition that is even less likely to be broken in the build-up to a match that is almost certain to determine the outcome of this season's Premier League title.
'At this time of the season, me and Frank don't really talk,' said Ferdinand. 'It's an unwritten agreement between us.
National express: Ferdinand will line up against Lampard at Old Trafford this weekend
'During the season we will send each other the odd text here and there but when it comes to the business end, if we are both involved in the title race, there is not really any dialogue.'
That it should come down to a shoot-out between the two teams who have shared the last six championships has surprised some.
WhenChelsea were trailing United by 15 points following their alarming mid-season slump, it seemed Arsenal were the most likely to deny Sir Alex Ferguson and his players.
Instead,when the pressure was turned up, Arsenal's failings emerged once more. And, with United continuing to find life hard away from Old Trafford, Chelsea have exploited the opportunity to close the gap to a stage wherevictory on Sunday will take them top with just two games remaining.
'At the beginning of the season everybody was tipping either us or Chelsea to win the league,' reflected Ferdinand. '
'Arsenalmade a good go of it but have fallen away. 'Even after Sunday, there are still two more big games to come, so I don't think it will decide the season.
'But it will have a big say in where the title goes.'
The outcome is so difficult to judge partly because since Chelsea extended a run of three successive Premier League wins against Sunday's Old Trafford foes at the beginning of March, United have hit back, knocking Carlo Ancelotti's men out of the Champions League, deservedly winning both legs of their quarter-final.
'I am not sure it proves we know how to beat them and I don't know whether it will play on their minds, but it lets them know we are capable of winning,' said Ferdinand.
Back in the day: Lampard (left) and Ferdinand (centre) began their careers with West Ham
'We played particularly well over the two legs and we are confident.
'The thought of winning 19 titles is not going to be the overriding factor as far as the players are concerned,' Ferdinand added.
'We just want to win the league. 'There are players at the club who have not won a league title yet and there are others who have won quite a few, like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.
We are all at different parts of the spectrum but hunger to be successful is exactly the same.'
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