Frank Lampard is revered in Italy – and Serie A would make a perfect fit for the Chelsea midfielder

Sheridan Bird
frank lampard chelsea 300x225 Frank Lampard is revered in Italy   and Serie A would make a perfect fit for the Chelsea midfielder

Frank Lampard is out of contract at the end of the season

“I am here with Frankie!” The shocked midfielder’s eyes widened at his interviewer’s familiarity. Strangers didn’t normally call him that. But the Italian TV lady started her live chat as if they were best pals. It was fitting. Italy has always appreciated and felt comfortable around the Chelsea star.

That friendly interview was in 2006 when Lampard was firmly blue. Now the Brazil slayer’s future is less secure. If Frank James Lampard junior is seeking a new club, he must consider Italy, where fans and pundits have cherished his decade of impressive Champions League performances.

Calcio vernacular has a snazzy term for every ‘Frankie’ we’ve seen. The raiding, coruscating back-to-back title winner, honed by Jose Mourinho, is known to Italians as a ‘cursore’. Meaning cursor, this hard-running midfielder drives into the opponents’ area with quartz timing and scores. Claudio Marchisio of Juventus is current cursor king in Serie A, Milan’s Antonio Nocerino is another thrilling example.

Of course, at 34, Romford-born Lampard has lost some of his power and stamina. But the Naboo from the Mighty Boosh soundalike retains supreme passing and tactical nous. The veteran is a perfect candidate to be a ‘regista’.

Translated as ‘director’ and also used to describe Francis Ford-Coppola and Steven Spielberg, the regista normally sits in front of defence, efficiently dispatching the ball to the right people.

Andrea Pirlo is today’s blockbuster director (his beard is better than Spielberg’s too). Also labelled ‘playmakers’, they start attacks and dictate the tempo.

This suits Lampard. The Italian league has always valued technique over raw speed and tactics to toil. You are forgiven wooden legs as long as your feet aren’t concrete. When Milan signed David Beckham for the first time in 2009 there was scepticism.

After watching workaholic Becks in training sinister Rossoneri director Adriano Galliani said “everyone respects him.” Carlo Ancelotti, coach during the first loan, never doubted his acumen, control and skill. “He is an intelligent player. He can interpret every slot in midfield. He even played trequartista,” mumbled Carletto.

Treqaurtista is the mercurial schemer behind the forwards, slipping in perfect throughballs and as Roberto Mancini says “finding space in a jungle of legs.” Lampard might have the odd opportunity to play as a trequartista.

This eventuality is least likely. The role is not in vogue in calcio these days, and as Zvonimir Boban noted, the true trequartista should be able to beat an opponent – not a Lampsy speciality. Becks only played there, in Milan’s 3-0 win over Atalanta in March 2009, because of an injury crisis.

The reasons Beckham thrived during his two stays in Italy are transferable to the Chelsea’s classy vice-captain. He’s an excellent trainer and clean-living professional with fantastic feet, dead-ball prowess, awareness and experience.  The England ace is also bright enough to learn Italian.

If Lampard goes to Serie A he can give the lungs a break and engage his brain. Who wouldn’t be tempted by this luxury cruise into retirement? Lampsy will be welcomed like a hero and whether a cursore, regista or trequartista, he’ll always be “Frankie” to the Italians.

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  • cooperative5

    Is he revered as much as The Pope?

  • disqus_F42m9Ppx3k

    No, more. Lamps should definitely go to italy – he’d love the life, and the italians already love him. He deserves it – and Chelsea don’t deserve him.

  • Michael

    I’d love to see him on Milan.

  • Leinsterlion

    Who in Italy will pony up the cash? All the big teams are getting younger and ditching expensive veterans. “Frankie” will have to take a big pay cut and be content as a rotational player if he wants to go to one of the big clubs.

  • platypus56

    He should go play for the Hammers.

  • kropotkin5

    wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Tottenham shirt but can’t see it,I think he should go to Italy and the very best of luck to him

  • conservativemind12

    Can’t see that happening when AVB hardly ever played him at Chelskea.

  • tonywatts

    I still think he has a valuable role to play for England for another 12 months, so wherever he goes, keeping him at the top of his game is essential.

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