In the 2007/08 Champions League semi-final, a certain Frank Lampard stepped up to the plate to score one of the most emotional goals of his entire career to send Chelsea through the Champions League final against Liverpool.
Four years later, the midfielder lifted the greatest honour in European football as the Chelsea captain, embodying the legacy he installed into the club as a player and being at the centre of one of the most feared teams in world football.
Now, Lampard has the chance to create the same legacy, but as the manager of the club to whom he has already given everything. Tomorrow, Lampard will be back to Champions League action with Chelsea under the lights at Stamford Bridge – an occasion he is very much looking forward to.
“I will be proud to do it,” started Lampard, excited about getting back to the famous tournament. “I had some incredible nights in the Champions League, and some bad ones. It’s the ultimate in club football.
“There is something about Stamford Bridge, Champions League football and that music. I will be proud to do it.”
Still full of fond memories from the competition, Lampard reflected on how that famous goal for the Blues propelled his relationship to a new level with the supporters.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, he said: "I didn’t need an extra bond with the Chelsea fans but it kicked it on for me and my connection with the club.”
It will be 'different' for youth
It is a type of special occasion that a lot of the Chelsea squad are not all that familiar with too, with Lampard investing heavily in the younger less-experienced players like Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, all of whom were playing Championship football last season.
Asked whether he had spoken to or prepared these younger players for the test, Lampard responded: “I haven’t spoken to them in detail about it. It is different, the main thing is that the concentration levels throughout the game have to be spot on. The different level can surprise you. It will be that focus, will be the main point.”
Valencia and beyond
The Blues will come up against Spanish side Valencia in their return to the tournament. They have endured a tough start to their season, earning just four points from their first four matches; they head to London off the back of a 5-2 battering from Barcelona.
On the prospect of facing the side, Lampard said: “I am aware of what is going on. At the same time, it doesn’t affect our and my approach. We are going up against a team of fantastic quality.
“Every moment is different, but it can make a team tighter on the pitch. We are certainly ready for a team on the pitch. You need to know the details, so I won’t go into that.”
Finally, the Chelsea manager revealed his ultimate aim for the competition.
“I think the target is to qualify in the group, it’s a tough group, but I think we have talent that can blossom in the Champions League. There are two parts, pre-Christmas and if you get through then past Christmas, but I know the dangers of the group,” concluded Lampard.