At 36-years-old, Frank Lampard played his final competitive game for England against Costa Rica alongside a Ross Barkley who had not long turned 20-years-old.
Now, the two will link up in a very different fashion as Lampard looks to help the central midfielder from the role of a manager.
It is a change that Barkley has embraced and is excited for as the Chelsea player looks to really make his impact on the club since his arrival in 2018.
A lot to learn from Lampard
Barkley admitted that Lampard was an idol for him growing up and is keen on learning from the greatest scoring midfielder in Premier League history.
“He was a player I looked up to when I was growing up, and then I was lucky enough to play with him as well and take tips from him when we were with England together,” Barkley told the official Chelsea website after training in Japan.
“Now it’s great to have him as manager. He will pass things that used to work for him in games on to us. To have him back is brilliant for the players because of the experiences he has had over his career, and it’s going to be really exciting for the fans as well.”
Picking up from where he left off
Coming off the back of his most impressive appearances in a Chelsea shirt towards the end of last season, Barkley will be looking to continue his good form into the new season.
Preparations, he claims, couldn’t have gone any better under the new manager and is ready and fit to impress under the watch of Lampard.
“It’s been really good to be back together with all the boys,” he said. “We are working hard. The training sessions have been really intense. We have been up and running with the new manager straight away and we have put in a lot of extra miles.
“There’s only Christian [Pulisic] who needs to bed in, plus some of the young lads who will get a chance. There is so much talent in the squad. We have got a new manager, a legend of the club, and a new playing style, so it’s going to be an exciting season. We’re all thinking positively.”
Finally, Barkley discussed the pressure and privilege of wearing the number eight shirt under the coaching of its former great occupant.
“Of course, he was a massive player to wear that number for Chelsea,” acknowledged Barkley. “I was no.8 at Everton too so when the club said it was available for me and I could take it, I thought why not?
“It was great to take that number and hopefully there are many seasons ahead that I can score loads of goals.”