No retirement in Lampard's plans

BY foxsports • November 12, 2011

Lampard is no longer an automatic choice for his country - a scenario he also briefly encountered earlier in the campaign at Chelsea before bouncing back with a vengeance. The Euro 2012 finals could realistically represent the last major finals for Lampard who will be 36 by the time of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. But, in the same way as David Beckham has said he will never formally retire from international football, Lampard is thinking along the same lines. He said: "I don't completely accept it (Euro 2012) is my last tournament. By saying that, I've certainly not made up my mind up to pull out of contention post-Euros. "I'm certainly very realistic. If I feel that it's beyond me to carry on playing, that it's detrimental to myself at Chelsea and I'm not offering enough to England, then I'll make that decision. "I won't accept that yet, but I understand that Brazil is a long way away for me, personally." But, when asked if he thinking along the same lines as Beckham, Lampard said: "At the moment I do. I don't know if that's always how I'll feel. "David's situation is slightly different. He's been playing in America for a few years now. It's a different level of football and pace of football. "Probably the only time I'd think of extracting myself out of it would be if I wasn't getting picked enough, and it was common knowledge. "It wouldn't even be worth saying it then, in a way - or if it was beneficial for me to have breaks in mid-season and not to be playing games in the summer time, in terms of prolonging my Chelsea career. "At the moment, I can't see myself retiring. When you're younger you kind of think you'll maybe retire at a certain age. You see other players doing it. "But, as I've got older, I've started to realise you're a long time retired. "For all the bits of help you get in terms of fitness by not playing for England, I realise I'll be sitting there wishing I'd pushed that bit harder, got another 50 caps and worked that little bit more." Lampard is even prepared to be a squad member next summer but only as a last resort if he is not a first choice player. He said: "I would be prepared to - but I'd want to be in the team. We're all squad members to an extent. I'd want to be in the team. But there'd be no problem. There's no ego here telling me that. "My only ego is me wanting to play. I do get the hump when I'm on the bench, but not with the person who's in the team instead of me but because I want to play personally. "If I didn't think I was good enough to be playing, I wouldn't be here. I'd say 'don't bother to pick me because I wouldn't be helping anyone'." Lampard was always confident he still had plenty to offer even when he fell out of favour at Stamford Bridge and with England. He said: "I didn't think too far ahead. It was a difficult time for me on the bench at Chelsea, on the bench for England for a couple of games, and a lot was being made of it. "I wanted to get back into the team and playing well, knowing that when I got back fit I can play as I've always played. Thankfully I've been able to do that. "It was about having belief in myself. I'd had a difficult season with injury, and I'd never had a big injury before. "I suffered with that, even when I came back to fitness. I needed to be at my best this year."

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