When it comes to Champions League football, Frank Lampard has been there, done it and got the winner’s medal to prove it.
With 142 appearances in European competition – the majority being in the Champions League – Lampard’s experience in the dressing room could prove vital as City prepare to take on Barcelona.
Lampard has played twice for the Blues in this year’s competition, coming on as sub against Roma and playing the entire match during the dramatic 3-2 win over Bayern Munich.
Having experienced the highs and lows of the competition, he is hoping for one last hurrah in the competition.
“For me the Champions League is the best club competition in world football,” said the City midfielder.
“Playing against a team like Barcelona and the greatest club teams in Europe when all the eyes of the world are on you is hard to beat.
The quality of the opposition, the midweek game under the lights and the atmosphere make these nights the sort of games every player wants to be involved in because you want to test yourself against the very best
“This is a trophy every big club needs in their collection and the way City are heading it is one that will happen at some point and these sorts of games are the ones you have to win if you are going to go on and win the competition.”
One thing Lampard says is vital for any side hoping to reach the final is luck – City could claim they’ve not always had the rub of the green so far, particular when the groups have been drawn!
But the former England man adds complete focus and maximum levels of performance are also vital ingredients to progressing to the latter stages.
“I’ve had lots of good and bad experiences in the Champions League in that I’ve been knocked out in big games and had big decisions go the wrong way.
“There were many years when I was at Chelsea when success was very close – I think I’ve played in four or five semi-finals and also lost a final against Manchester United so to actually win it in 2012 was extra sweet and undoubtedly the best night of my career to date.
As a player, I expected winning the Champions League would be a big deal and when Chelsea finally did, it was amazing and blew everything else out of the water for me
“I’d love to City do the same and I think it’s the club’s next step – there will be disappointments along the way and I know that there have been some hard times in this competition in recent years and Chelsea had many hard times as well – but that’s what happens when you are up against the best.
“It is difficult to win against these teams – but to go on and win it you have to win matches like this. We have to be on the ball for both games against Barcelona because you’re playing against such high quality that one lapse of concentration will cost you the game.”