Chelsea Legend Frank Lampard spoke exclusively to the Guardian on a number of issues.
The former England international who also played in the MLS league revealed how he proposed to his wife, among other interesting topics.
Here are excerpts from Chelsea’s record goalscorer’s interview with The Guardian.
I WASN’T BORN GREAT
I wasn’t born with the talent of Lionel Messi, but I made the most of what I have. I work hard because I am scared of failure. I had it as a footballer at Chelsea and I have it today as a father. It can be positive if you channel it in the right way.
LIVING IN THE WORLD OF MY CHILDREN
I now have an 11-year-old watching make-up tutorials on YouTube and a nine-year-old talking about social media. I just try to have fun and get into their world.
SEEING THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY NOW
It is easy to be cynical or worry, but my girls’ carefree attitude makes me view the world through a different lens. I am separated from their mother [Elen Rivas] so I have them half the week and those days remind me what matters in life.
I HAVE TWO SIDES TO MY LIFE
My dad is tough and keeps his emotions inside. My wife Christine [Bleakley, the presenter] criticises me for doing that. But my mum was sensitive and I definitely have that side, too.
HOW I PROPOSED TO MY WIFE
Romance takes some planning. I proposed to Christine on Santa Monica beach in LA. I even designed the ring myself. But to keep it under wraps I got a friend to fly out and secretly pass it to me at the hotel. I then phoned Christine’s dad to ask permission – I ended up speaking to her mum but she insisted he’d be happy – and all went to plan.
HOW I NEARLY DIED
I swallowed the mouthpiece of a trumpet as a kid. It nearly killed me. I had to go to hospital to have it taken out.
HOW I STARTED WRITING
I started writing children’s books on the way to matches. I scribbled ideas in a little notebook. I often read extracts to my daughters to test out ideas.
MY HARDEST MOMENT
My hardest moment was losing my mother three days before the 2008 Champions League semi-final. The manager didn’t want to play me, but I asked to be included, I scored a penalty and we won.
I AM A CHRISTIAN
I believe in God and I am a Christian. My faith was tested when I lost my mum, but I found small pieces to hold on to. My faith helped me through.
WHEN I MET WILL FERRELL
I was completely star-struck when I met Will Ferrell . He is a closet Chelsea fan and when I met him in Seattle he knew who I was, which I found incredible. I had to ask for a photo.
MY LOVE FOR AMERICA
American positivity is something I admire.
When I moved to New York City FC [in 2015-16] everyone said: “Good morning” and “Have a nice day.” At the start I was that British guy, not talking, head down. By the end I was chatting in the lift.
SECRET TO A GOOD RELATIONSHIP
The secret to a good relationship is to keep fancying each other. Christine and I make each other laugh and have fun, but I am sure we fancy each other more and more as time goes on.
TURNING 40 IN JUNE
I have no fear of turning 40. I have experience and a settled home life, and that’s a lovely mixture.