John Terry vs Frank Lampard: Who Is the Bigger Chelsea Legend?

Rowanne WesthenryFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2013

MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19:  Frank Lampard (R) and John Terry of Chelsea celebrate after their victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Every club has its legends, players whom fans of the generation will sing about until they draw their last breath. John Terry and Frank Lampard are the biggest Chelsea legends of this generation.

John Terry signed for the club at the age of 14, long before Chelsea were the powerhouse they are today. He had played with the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Ledley King at Senrab FC as a youngster and was lauded as the next big thing in English football. In his early career Terry played in midfield, but as his strength developed he moved to centre-half.

His decision to join Chelsea came despite overtures from Sir Alex Ferguson, who reportedly took the young Terry out for his favourite meal, beans on toast, in an attempt to persuade him to sign for Manchester United back in 1994. The Scot was unsuccessful, and to date Terry remains the only player in the Chelsea squad to have successfully risen through the academy ranks at Stamford Bridge.

Since joining the academy in 1995, Terry has captained Chelsea more than 400 times, scoring over 50 goals in the process.

Frank Lampard followed his father's footsteps into the West Ham setup. He was never the most naturally athletic or gifted player, but his desire to succeed drove him to put in extra hours on the training pitch, a habit he continues to this day.

Lampard made the move across London in 2001 in an £11 million deal and immediately stamped his authority on the midfield. The fans were not entirely welcoming at the beginning due to his roots at their fierce London rivals, but his modesty and professionalism soon won them over. He is Terry's second in command as vice-captain and he led the side in their greatest ever triumph in Munich on May 19, 2012.

With 199 goals for the club, Lampard needs only three more to equal Bobby Tambling's record of 202. When you consider the fact that he plays in midfield, the feat of scoring 10 or more goals a season for 10 consecutive years speaks volumes about how hard he works to continuously improve his game.

Neither player has entirely avoided negative publicity. Terry's trials and tribulations are well remembered as in recent years there have been allegations of adultery committed with an ex-teammate's ex-girlfriend to go along with the Anton Ferdinand racism row.

Lampard has kept his nose clean as his career has begun to wind down, but in 2000 a sex tape was released featuring him, along with Kieron Dyer and Rio Ferdinand. A year later, both players were fined two weeks' wages after drunkenly harassing American tourists at Heathrow airport on September 12 2001.

When Chelsea reached their first Champions League Final in 2008 Lampard traveled to Moscow despite grieving the loss of his mother to pneumonia just a few weeks previously. When he scored the equaliser that took the game to extra time and eventually penalties, he ran to the fans and lifted his arms to the heavens in tribute to his departed mum.

In the same final, the penalty shootout progressed to a point where if Chelsea could convert the fifth kick, they would be crowned Champions of Europe for the first time ever, beating Manchester United because of a mistake by Cristiano Ronaldo.

With Didier Drogba having been sent off for slapping Nemanja Vidic in the face, Terry stepped up to take the vital fifth penalty. He slipped, it hit the post and Chelsea were eventually beaten when Nicolas "Le Sulk" Anelka saw his penalty saved in sudden death.

After that miss, Terry wrote an open letter of apology to the fans. He understands how much the club means to the supporters, and Lampard is no different. During the Club World Cup in Japan, the players were wandering off the pitch after their defeat in the final until Lampard reminded them to thank the fans who had traveled halfway around the world, at great expense, to support their team.

There is so little to choose between the two men, one dubbed "Super Frank" and the other titled "Captain, Leader, Legend," that the only factor to decide between them is length of service to the club.

Whilst Lampard is a far superior role model, Terry is a rare breed of footballer in the modern game: a one-club man. That loyalty and the passion behind it give him the edge in what is the closest call of any debate amongst Chelsea fans.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @agirlintheshed