Terry & Lampard face off on Blue Monday to contest world football's richest game
The two Chelsea legends shared many memorable moments as teammates at Stamford Bridge but their friendship will be put to one side for 90 minutes and possibly more in the Wembley showpiece Playoff Final.
Blues Legends 🔵 💫
They’ve won the Champions League together, were teammates for three Premier League title-winning campaigns, and stood shoulder to shoulder at World Cups and European Championships. JT & Lamps, as Chelsea fans know them, have been inseparable football brothers but today they'll go head to head with only one able to win promotion to the Premier League as a coach. In their own right, both of these individuals have cemented their place in Chelsea folklore.
Lampard, an energetic box-to-box goalscoring midfielder in his heyday, is the club's all-time record goal-scorer with 211 strikes for the club. Terry, a long time Chelsea captain, was often hailed as "Captain, Leader, Legend" in a banner draped across the Matthew Harding Stand at Stamford Bridge.
Managerial learning curves 📉 👨🏻🎓
John Terry's role as Aston Villa assistant manager means that he and Lampard are not direct equivalents today, but Terry's influence on the Villa dressing room and technical process isn't to be underestimated. Lampard, head coach of Derby County outright, will relish the prospect of getting one over his old friend and ex-teammate with so much at stake. There's rumoured to be 170m riding on this game, according to Deloitte.
Lampard has led Derby County to the brink of the English Premier League in his first season as a manager and Terry is assistant to head coach Dean Terry at Villa. Both have shown massive promise in their first respective forays into management and the smart money suggests that Lampard is a strong contender to take over the manager role at Chelsea before long.
Rewind one year and Terry was captaining Aston Villa in the 2018 playoff final, a match they lost agonizingly to Fulham. The goal for Villa, favourites here, will be to erase that memory for good. Derby has scores of their own to settle, having failed at the semifinal hurdle of the playoffs in two of the last three seasons. The Chelsea flavour of this encounter is further enhanced by Aston Villa striker Tammy Abraham, on-loan from Chelsea is likely to be a key man.
Lampard has gone on record to state that the pair share a tight friendship, despite being vastly different personalities. For so many years these two shared goals and objectives, today they gun for the same goal but on opposing teams.