Ranking Frank Lampard's Top 6 England Moments

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2014

Ranking Frank Lampard's Top 6 England Moments

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    As Father Time catches up with former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, it seems inevitable the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be his last major international tournament with the Three Lions.

    Rather than disappearing over the horizon with regrets, however, the 35-year-old will leave the international stage with an impressive record that outlines the quality he has bestowed upon the England jersey whenever he has donned it.

    There may have been some depressing lows along the way, such as England failing to live up to their potential at World Cups and European Championships, but Lampard's England career will be remembered for so much more.

    To celebrate his legacy, Bleacher Report counts down his top six moments on the international stage.

6. England's Leading Goalscorer in Qualifying for 2006 World Cup

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    STRINGER/Associated Press

    Despite England boasting the talents of Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and Jermain Defoe, none of their strikers could outscore Frank Lampard en route to qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

    In total, Lampard notched five goals for his country, but it wasn't just about the number of strikes—it was their importance that impressed most.

    Lampard won vital points for England against Austria—where his penalty gave the Three Lions a 1-0 victory at Wembley Stadium. He was also on hand to score an 80th-minute winner against Poland in the final game of qualifying, ensuring England finished top of Group 6 by a single point.

    His other goals came against Northern Ireland, Wales and Austria, helping England to a 2-2 away draw.

    After Euro 2004, Paul Scholes had retired from international duty, meaning Lampard became a key source of goals in England's midfield.

    As he showed, he was more than up to the task.

     

    Stats via Soccer Base

5. Voted England's Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005

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    DANIEL MAURER/Associated Press

    Our image above shows Frank Lampard proudly holding his silver FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2005, when he was voted the second-best player in the world behind Barcelona and Brazil star Ronaldinho.

    That wasn't the only personal award he would pick up in 2005, though.

    On the back of his impressive form for England in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, Lampard was voted Player of the Year by England fans, making him a back-to-back winner of the award after he had picked it up in 2004 also.

    Lampard was at his peak back then, and England fans ensured his efforts were recognised.

4. Scores on Euro 2004 Debut

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    LIONEL CIRONNEAU/Associated Press

    Frank Lampard narrowly missed out on making England's squad for the 2002 World Cup.

    Rather than allowing the disappointment to envelop him, he set about putting the record straight with some fantastic performances for Chelsea the following season that eventually saw him become an England regular under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

    When the England boss selected his squad for the 2004 European Championships, Lampard wasn't just part of it, he had forced his way into the starting line-up.

    The Blues midfielder got off to a flyer, too, scoring in England's opening game against France—his debut at a major international tournament.

    Unfortunately for Lampard and the Three Lions, the French forced their way back into the game and eventually sealed a 2-1 victory courtesy of Zinedine Zidane's late free-kick.

    That said, it was a proud personal moment as Lampard opened his account.

3. Scores His 1st England Goal

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    It took Frank Lampard four years to score his first England goal, coming in August 2003 as the Three Lions defeated Croatia 3-1 in a friendly at Portman Road.

    It proved to be worth the wait, too, with Lampard firing home a trademark long-range effort to put the seal on what had been an impressive England display.

    We would go into in more detail, but we think the video above tells you enough about the class of Lampard's strike.

2. Makes His England Debut

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    It's the occasion every young footballer dreams of—the moment when you line up for your country to make your international debut.

    Frank Lampard was given his by Kevin Keegan, appearing as a raw 20-year-old against Belgium in October 1999.

    England won the game 2-1 thanks to goals from Alan Shearer and Lampard's cousin, Jamie Redknapp.

    Dennis Wise was substituted for Lampard at 76 minutes. In a twist of irony just two years later, Lampard would be part of a new-look midfield at Chelsea that replaced the partnership of captain Wise and Gus Poyet at Stamford Bridge.

1. Wins His 100th Cap

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Just seven players before Frank Lampard had won 100 caps or more for England and the ex-Chelsea midfielder joined the exclusive club when the Three Lions faced Ukraine in Kiev in September 2013.

    England played Chile two months later in a friendly at Wembley Stadium, and Lampard was given the honour of leading the team out, being presented with a commemorative golden cap before kick-off.

    It's a phenomenal feat from one of the finest midfielders England has ever produced.

    Should he not add to his tally at the 2014 World Cup, his international record will stand at 105 caps and 29 goals.