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Redknapp: Chelsea's Lampard genuine world star

Redknapp gave him his first break in football at West Ham and witnessed first hand his drive, commitment, and dedication.

And he told the Sunday Mirror: "Let me tell you, no one deserves to be a success more than Frank Lampard. He wasn't a naturally talented world-class player, he turned himself into one.

"I've never seen dedication like it. We had an extremely talented bunch of players at West Ham, but no one could come close to Frank in terms of where he was and where he wanted to be.

"If I had a talented young player on my books, the first thing I would do would be to tell them to study Frank Lampard. When all the other players left training Frank would stay behind for hours working on his running, his fitness and his shooting.

"It didn't matter whether it was pouring down with rain and freezing, nothing deterred him. All he was interested in was making it as a professional and being the best he could."

Redknapp doesn't buy into claims that Lampard became a great player only when he joined Chelsea.

"That's absolute garbage. Chelsea didn't go out and pay £12million for a player with potential. Frank was scoring goals for us in midfield on a regular basis. The difference now is he's older, more mature and playing with world-class players.

"A nicer lad you couldn't wish to meet as well. He doesn't have a malicious bone in his body."

Redknapp also claims few players have skin as thick as Frank's, adding: "I've seen some of the scandalous stick he's taken and I've seen players' confidence destroyed by it.

"But it goes right over the top of Frank. Naturally he's disappointed at some of the reaction - a large majority of it is coming from minority support following England.

"But they could scream from the top of that ridiculous arch at Wembley and it would make no difference.

"Exceptional players are able to completely switch off from any adverse reaction from the crowd. It would be something if I could get my head around why.

"But last year he was voted the best England player by the supporters so none of it makes any sense to me."

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

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