Frank Lampard: 100 Cap Hero?
It's a magnificent achievement to be called on to represent your country 100 times.
Only seven players had done so for England before Fridays nights encounter with Chile at Wembley, but the friendly added another name to the list.
#8 Frank Lampard.
Lampard, who last season broke the all-time Chelsea goal scoring record of 202 set by Bobby Tambling 47 years ago, is a legend for his club and one of the most iconic English players to play the modern game. He's won a Champions League, the Europa League, three Premier League crowns, four FA Cups and two League Cups, and has become known as one of the hardest working, industrious and pleasant off the pitch players you can meet in the Premier League.
On Friday, Sir Geoff Hurst and Frank's father, Frank Lampard Senior, presented the midfielder with a golden cap to mark his landmark moment for England, in front of Wembley and a world audience.
While the 100 appearance mark for country, or club, is a special moment for any player, the recent crop of players, Lampard included, to be given the award leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.
The 'Golden Generation' receiving their golden caps. Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard and Lampard were all key players in a group of Englishmen that many thought could repeat the greats feats of England at Italia 90 or even, dare we say it, 1966?
The generation, however, never reached the heights expected of them, and England went from being the exciting side we watched at Euro 96 and, to an extent, France 98, to being a disappointing and dour outfit to watch on the international scene. Cole, unlike his two midfield compatriots, produced performances that, more often than not, matched his club performances, but Lampard and Gerrard became a midfield pairing that many believed were unable to play together.
While both excelled domestically, neither inspired at international level, despite being given numerous chances. There are few games that stand out, especially in the international career of Lampard, where the English midfielders ever controlled a game from start to finish against top class opposition, with Gerrard producing his best performances when paired in the heart of the pitch with Scott Parker and others.
Maybe the fans expectation levels were too high, maybe Gerrard and Lampard were unlucky with the managers who pulled the strings of the National side or maybe their. Supporting cast was never good enough but the recent members of England's 100 cap club serve as much of a reminder that these players were given 100 chances to recreate their club achievements for their country, as they are a fitting symbol to commemorate some of England's longest serving players.
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