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Jose Mourinho warned Frank Lampard off MLS

Jul 16, 2013, 8:15 PM EDT

Frank Lampard

Did you want to see Frank Lampard in MLS? A lot of people did.

He’s a classy midfielder, a savvy veteran and a bit of a commercial draw. The former England captain looked like the ideal LA Galaxy midfield replacement for David Beckham.

And a deal did seem so tantalizingly close, didn’t it? The sides went back and forth for so very long, starting at some point last summer when the longtime Chelsea man was spotted in sunny So Cal doing vacationing.

In May, a deal seemed downright imminent. The Daily Mail out of England even said Lampard’s fiancée, Christine Bleakley, had blessed the Lampard-Galaxy union.

So what in the world happened? Well, apparently Jose Mourinho happened. The new Chelsea boss – well, you know, the new-old Chelsea boss – took credit Tuesday for waving him off.

I was telling him, the way I know you – don’t go to American soccer. You are a player who needs to compete every week at the highest level, you are a player that needs to be in real competition.

“If you go to the States, it’s a fantastic country, football is coming up and you would be very important there. But if you go there you will not enjoy your life, and you have years to enjoy your life as a player.

“So my opinion was not to go but try and stay at Chelsea – if Chelsea doesn’t want you then try and stay in the Premier League because you belong to high level competition. He was telling me in the Premier League he doesn’t want to play in any other club.”

  1. mvktr2 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Thank you Mourinho for keeping him in England.

    MLS Fans

    Seriously I’m fine with 30-32 year olds coming here with an occasional 34 yr old and am okay with any older player whom is a global superstar ie Henrey/Beckham. Lampard aint a global superstar and as good as he is MLS can invest millions elsewhere far more wisely.

    The league needs 30 Ferrera, Martins, Zusi types a lot more than it needs 8 more ‘super stars’.

    • ijon2012 - Jul 17, 2013 at 3:24 AM

      I find it absolute absurd you don’t consider Lampard a superstar. He is the best midfielder Chelsea FC has ever had and one of the all time best midfielders in the English game. Lampard is as superstar as it gets, his name goes right up there with Beckham and Gerrard for superstar midfielders. The MLS would be blessed with such quality on the pitch. For this reason Jose dosent want him to come to the MLS to his be wasted, he wants him to compete in an actually good league at the highest level.

      • wesbadia - Jul 17, 2013 at 9:00 AM

        What makes Beckham or Henry “super stars” is their brand image. Both have it, arguably more so the former than the latter. Lampard? Not so much. Sure, there will always be fans looking to buy Chelsea jerseys with Frank’s name on them, but Chelsea, despite winning UCL in 2012, are still not on the same level as Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, or even Arsenal (who’s never been relegated). Chelsea is an elite team that has won titles, but that doesn’t mean they’re cream of the crop, and, likewise, it doesn’t mean Lampard is a “super star” to those outside of Chelsea circles.

      • boscoesworld - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        He was a great player! He is not longer in his prime. Five years ago your argument would ring true.

  2. tigeraintdone - Jul 17, 2013 at 12:05 AM


    Could not have said it any better. Kudos

  3. seanb20124 - Jul 17, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    Unless he could sell tickets, I see no need for him.

    I believe only Adu and Becks ever really sold tix to non fans

  4. player169 - Jul 17, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    The last statement was pretty telling…he didn’t want to play for another EPL team. Sounds to me like he played good enough to force Chelsea’s hand and the rest is history. Having his name in MLS would have helped advance the league that much more. I’m sure the advice from Beckham meant more to Lampard then “the special one’s” did…I hope he never coaches in the US…

  5. dfstell - Jul 17, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Eh…..I think this is making a big deal out of nothing and a lot of American soccer fans are just showing their defensiveness. I mean, what I hear in Mourinho’s comments is that he thinks Lampard is still capable of playing for a EPL-title contending and Champion’s League team for a few more years AND that he thinks that Lampard will be more motived by THAT than coming here to be a big fish in a small pond.

    I think the guy is a fabulous player and was great last season at Chelsea. Anyone who thinks that a guy who was starting for a Top 3 EPL team wouldn’t be immediately among the best players in MLS is just nuts.

    But….if Lampard perhaps lacks a little self-motivation and needs a push (i.e. scrappy world-class youngsters trying to take his playing time, EPL titles, Champion’s League, etc.) then he might be better off there than here.

    Honestly, I didn’t see this as a smack at MLS. MLS just isn’t as good. That’s a fact.

    • boscoesworld - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      You mean the 5 comments on this board represent “a lot of American soccer fans”?? The fact that there are so few comments reflect the fact that few American soccer fans care about Frank!!

  6. chunkala - Jul 17, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    i think he was on his way to career decline but have had great season, especially 2nd half last year. Question is whether he used it all up last season and whether there’s gas left in the tank?

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