Ieri, dopo aver vinto l’Europa League contro il Benfica, alzando il torneo insieme a John Terry, Frankie Lampard aveva fatto capite che il caso era risolto, ora è arrivato anche l’annuncio ufficiale del club: il 35enne centrocampista ha rinnovato per una stagione il contratto in scadenza a giugno, dopo mesi in cui l’addio sembrava scontato, e continuavano a circolare voci di interessamenti in giro per l’Europa, alcuni decisamente improbabili. Decisivo Josè Mourinho, grande estimatore (ricambiato) del centrocampista dei record (più di 600 presenze con la maglia del club), al Chelsea dal 2001: la sua conferma è stata la prima richiesta esaudita da Abramovich, probabilmente anche la meno costosa.
Il comunicato ufficiale del club (in inglese):
Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce Frank Lampard has signed a one-year extension to his contract.
Already the third-highest appearance-maker in the club’s history, next season will be the vice-captain’s 13th at Stamford Bridge.
Ron Gourlay, Chelsea FC Chief Executive, said: ‘Frank has been an important player for Chelsea Football Club for a long time and has played a significant part in the club’s success.
‘We have been talking to him since the end of last year and our discussions have been entirely positive throughout. We are delighted we are now announcing an extension to his contract which will keep him at the club until 2014.’
Lampard added: ‘I’m absolutely delighted. Everybody knows I always maintained the dream was to stay at Chelsea. We’ve been talking for ages and even though it went on for quite a period it was always amicable.
‘I want to thank Mr Abramovich for everything he’s done in making the dream a reality. I love this club, the staff, the players and especially the supporters, who have treated me fantastically since the day I arrived.
‘The thought of helping the club to more success in the forthcoming years is all I ever wanted. I couldn’t be happier.’
Lampard became the club’s record goalscorer amid wonderful scenes at Villa Park last Saturday when he surpassedBobby Tambling’s 202 goals, an incredible feat for a midfielder.
Since signing from West Ham United in 2001, Lampard has won the Champions League, the Premier League title on three occasions, the FA Cup four times, the League Cup twice and last night in Amsterdam he lifted the Europa League trophy.
He was voted the Chelsea Player of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2009 and among many other individual accolades he has been the Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year and runner-up for both the FIFA World Player of the Year and European Ballon d’Or.
The 34-year-old is also our top FA Cup and league scorer in top-flight football.
In April he became only the third person to play 600 games for the club. He has made 560 starts and 47 substitute appearances.