Lampard amazed by Messi feats

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

First published in National Sport © by

Frank Lampard has set goalscoring records that may never be broken but even he is struggling to process the kind of "crazy figures" Lionel Messi will bring to Stamford Bridge in Chelsea's Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.

February saw Lampard become the first player to achieve double figures in Barclays Premier League goals for 10 consecutive seasons, while a week ago he became the first midfielder to score 150 in the competition. But, more than nine years Lampard's junior, Messi is already Barcelona's record goalscorer, having netted 243 times for them - on 63 occasions this season alone.

Messi had only 78 career goals to his name the last time Barca came to Stamford Bridge just three years ago, and Lampard said: "He was a fantastic player then, at that stage. But what he's doing now, the levels he's taken his game to is something I've never seen before."

He added: "I grew up with (Diego) Maradona - he was my idol as a player - but I think Messi has taken it to probably further levels than him, certainly in his club football.

"To score the 70 goals he'll probably end up with this season, they're crazy figures.

"He deserves it. He's the best player in the world on merit. He's absolutely unbelievable."

Lampard understandably played down his own remarkable exploits after moving within four of another 20-goal campaign.

"I'm pleased to be up there and around that kind of figure," he said.

"I haven't played as many games as I would have liked to this season. If I can get to 20, it'll help us because we've got six or seven games to go now and if I could do that, it will obviously help us."


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