Chelsea news

Lampard hails Drogba

May 20, 2012
By ESPN staff

Frank Lampard says Didier Drogba is "right up there with Thierry Henry" and has called on the striker and the rest of the Chelsea old guard to stay together in the wake of their Champions League triumph.

Didier Drogba
GettyImagesDidier Drogba celebrates the equaliser

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Drogba was the hero as Chelsea were crowned European champions for the first time in their history following a dramatic win over Bayern Munich on Saturday, but the striker's future remains up in the air.

Drogba's contract is up next month and there are no guarantees he will stay, but Lampard feels that - whatever happens - the Ivorian has earned the right to be spoken of in the same light as some of the modern day greats.

"People talk about whether this is his last game for Chelsea, but he has been an absolute hero for this club," he said. "People talk about Henry, Rooney, the great strikers, but he is right up there. People that score in finals and in the big games, he is right up there."

Lampard, meanwhile, says it is imperative a host of Chelsea's older players remain at Stamford Bridge, insisting the club must use their cup success as a launch pad for next season.

He added: "The key players have been there a long time and we want to win, we are determined to win. In the dressing room we have a tough group. We struggled earlier in the season, confidence was low, but there is a real determination here, and when times are hard, we dig in. If you had asked me three months ago if we would win this competition, I would have laughed, but we have done."