Lampard still keen on England career

Frank Lampard will not give up on his England career despite conceding he is unlikely to play at a major international tournament again.

Admiring the match ball.

The midfielder was last night ruled out of Euro 2012 with a thigh injury he suffered in training ahead of Saturday's Wembley friendly against Belgium.

That immediately cast doubt over whether the 33-year-old Champions League winner had played his last England game.

Despite that England boss Roy Hodgson promised on Friday Lampard would remain in his plans and, in an interview before the Chelsea man's injury, he revealed he intended to play on - even if the 2014 World Cup is beyond him.

Asked if he could play in Brazil on Absolute Radio, he said: "I don't know, I'm taking it as it comes at the minute.

"I'm certainly not pulling out after the Euros, but Brazil at 36 would be some feat for me in that heat.

"It would be an amazing trip."

Despite conceding his own hopes, Lampard backed Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole to remain a key part of the England set-up until the next World Cup.

Cole, 31, served a reminder as to why he has been regarded as one of the world's best left-backs during the Blues' remarkable Champions League run.

"Yeah, I actually spoke with Ashley about it the other day, and I think Brazil should certainly be in his mind," Lampard said.

"He's got the legs, he's got the age hasn't he."

Lampard's injury has further dampened English optimism ahead of Euro 2012.

Hodgson's appointment after Fabio Capello's shock departure has failed to inspire the English support while suspended star striker Wayne Rooney will miss the opening two games.

Lampard's injury also came 72 hours after follow veteran midfielder Gareth Barry was ruled out with a lower abdomen complaint.

And while Lampard believes England's group hardly helps, with an opening date against France awaiting them, he believes they could yet replicate Chelsea's unlikely Champions League success in Poland and Ukraine.

"I think one bonus for us is that there is all of this negative feel about the squad selection, about suspensions, about the manager coming in," he said.

"It maybe gives us a different angle to what we've had before.

"Normally we go in thinking we're going to win things and it might just take the pressure off a little bit.

"You know what it's like in football, Chelsea have done it, we had no chance of beating Barcelona and we did it."



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