Frank Lampard is hoping to end a couple of emotional months for his extended family by inspiring Chelsea to Champions League glory and sealing a family double.
His uncle Harry Redknapp led Portsmouth to FA Cup success over Cardiff on Saturday and if the Stamford Bridge outfit beat Manchester United at the Luzhniki stadium here on Wednesday in the Champions League final, that would make it a double victory for the Lampard-Redknapp clans.
What would make it even more poignant is that Lampard's mother – the twin sister of Redknapp's wife – died last month, shortly before her son scored a crucial penalty to help knock Liverpool out of the Champions League semi-final.
“I was at Wembley on Saturday to see Harry win it, it was a great day for the family and particularly for Harry,” he said.
“He's had a great career, he's great for the game and he deserved that. I was fully supporting him and I hope that the Redknapp family will be supporting me.”
He said the penalty against Liverpool, in extra-time of the semi-final, second leg, was special but he hopes there will be even better things to come.
“That was a big moment for me but I think tomorrow (Wednesday) will potentially be a defining moment for the team,” he added.
“Some players (six) have already won the Champions League but a lot of us haven't. I want to be part of a winning team.
“I want to be among my team-mates and lifting the cup, that would top the semi-final.”
Captain John Terry, who has made a miraculously quick recovery from a dislocated elbow just to be fit to play in the final, said that the simple desire to help Chelsea win their first ever Champions League was the thing driving everyone on within the club.
Three times over the previous four years the Londoners reached the semi-finals, losing twice to Liverpool (in 2005 and 2007) and once to Monaco (2004).
“We have come close and the disappointments have been hard to take over the years,” he admitted.
“Finally we're here in the biggest competition in Europe … the whole things is awesome.
“It's the biggest game in my career and Frank's also. I just want to get my hands on the trophy, that would be the icing on the cake.”
Chelsea's Israeli manager Avram Grant said he thinks that hunger will make the difference more than experience and he insisted that his side will have the bigger appetites on the day.
“Sometimes experience is good and sometimes not good. Remember the final between Liverpool and (AC) Milan (in 2005),” he said.
“Milan had lots of experienced players and from 3-0 (to Milan) it became 3-3.
“It's more important for the players to be hungry. Sometimes a player is 36 years old but he is more hungry than younger players.
“My players are very, very hungry.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.
You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.