Rio Ferdinand makes Frank Lampard admission amid Chelsea and Man Utd rivalry


Rio Ferdinand has revealed he has "become closer" to former Chelsea midfielder and manager Frank Lampard since retiring. The two former England internationals were key cogs to their respective clubs during their playing days as Manchester United and Chelsea frequently battled each other for the major honours.

Perhaps the tipping point of this came in the 2008 Champions League final, when United crushed the Blues' dream in Moscow via an agonising penalty shootout defeat shortly after pipping them to the Premier League title. However, Chelsea did get the upper hand in the 2007 FA Cup final, courtesy of an extra-time goal from Didier Drogba, and in three Premier League seasons between 2004 and 2010.

At its peak, the rivalry was intense, and Ferdinand has now opened up on the personal relationship between himself and the Chelsea icon, and how it has evolved post-retirement. Despite growing up together at West Ham, the defender says he "didn’t speak" to Lampard after the pair took their respective paths.

 Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand was discussing the topic of friendships between players at different clubs in titles races alongside fellow pundits Joleon Lescott and Rafa Benitez.

"For instance, it was well documented that Frank Lampard, we grew up together at West Ham then when he went to Chelsea and I went to Man United we didn’t speak," Ferdinand said.

 "There wasn’t a conversation or a falling out we had about it, he was focused on winning as many trophies as possible, and I was as well in Manchester. It does happen. "Some relationships stay the same but maybe, personally, even with Jol [Lescott] we’ve become closer since we’ve retired because we’re not fighting over anything."

The theme of England teammates not getting over club rivalries that existed when they teamed up for international duty has previously been discussed by many players of this particular era. Dubbed the 'Golden Generation', cliques were said to have hurt the Three Lions' performances and general underperformance during the 2000s.

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