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Monday, September 10, 2012
Proud Lampard never thought of quitting

ESPN staff

Frank Lampard insists he never considered quitting international football, despite coming in for abuse from England fans and missing out on this year's European Championship through injury.

Lampard, 34, will have the opportunity to become England's greatest midfield goalscorer when the Three Lions take on Ukraine at Wembley on Tuesday evening after netting a brace against Moldova last week. However, the Chelsea man revealed life on the international stage has not always been pleasant.

"I am very proud of my England career," Lampard said. "With England careers, they can't always be rosy for any player especially if you are going to get towards 100 caps.

"I am very proud of the games, the goals, the games I have been involved in. The only downside is that we have not won anything. That's something we all want to put right.

"I am pleased I didn't bail out when I was getting stick because there can be easy routes particularly when you get to 30. You are allowed to retire from that age onwards.

"I was never interested in that. Whether I carry on playing one more game or 15, I'd like to think people will say 'he was really proud to play for his country and put in a good contribution.' If they say that I will be very happy."

Lampard missed Euro 2012 through injury but it never crossed his mind that it would be an appropriate time to concentrate purely on club football.

"When I got injured in the summer, it was one of those but I never actually considered it (quitting). I haven't got it in me. I'm not saying I'll stay available to be picked forever because it becomes obvious at some stage. But it's not my thing.

"My dad has always been a quiet advocate of playing for your country and the fact you are a long time retired, that while you feel you can contribute, do it.

"Even in those tough times, when I had a tough game, or was getting stick, my dad was adamant on me staying in the game because we are so privileged to be here. But I didn't talk to him this summer as I knew the answer I'd have got - 'keep going."'

"I don't know whether I am taken for granted. I don't believe so. I am very proud to be here. I have played through injuries at times and I like to think I have made myself available every time because I am very pleased to be here."

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