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Thu Apr 17 14:59:01 SAST 2014

Munich triumph saved Chelsea veterans, says Lampard

Sapa-AFP | 25 August, 2012 13:420 Comments
Chelsea v Reading - Premier League
Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates scoring the first goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Reading at Stamford Bridge on August 22, 2012 in London, England
Image by: Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Chelsea’s England midfielder Frank Lampard says winning the Champions League success meant several veterans — himself included - avoided having time called on their Stamford Bridge careers.

The win over Bayern Munich in May’s final gave billionaire owner Roman Abramovich the title he craved four years on from a penalty shootout loss to Manchester United in Moscow.

A difficult season had seen Portuguese coach Andre Villas-Boas making way for former player Roberto Di Matteo amid reports of dressing room unrest and differences with the players — including Lampard.

Had they lost in Munich the club might have jettisoned several of the old stagers, Lampard told The Times.

“If we had gone out of the Champions League, God knows what would have happened. Looking back, there probably would have been wholesale changes,” he told The Times.

“That’s the beauty of winning the Champions League. We remain in the Champions League and can look at spicing things up with new players.

“I didn’t really think at the time that that was the end, but looking back, it probably would have been the break-up of that team.”  Lampard said he is on good terms with Villas-Boas, now in charge at Tottenham.

“Looking back, we were slightly different personalities,” he said.

“What I found hard to handle was not so much the not-playing side, it was the communication — or the not talking about it.

“There are no hard feelings, certainly not from me. We sent messages after he left. I wish him all the best.” 

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