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Mourinho hails 'fantastic Frank'

Published: Monday 28 November 2005, 23.30CET
Chelsea FC manager José Mourinho led the tributes for Frank Lampard after he set a record of 160 consecutive Premiership appearances at the weekend.

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Published: Monday 28 November 2005, 23.30CET

Mourinho hails 'fantastic Frank'

Chelsea FC manager José Mourinho led the tributes for Frank Lampard after he set a record of 160 consecutive Premiership appearances at the weekend.
Chelsea FC manager José Mourinho led the tributes after midfielder Frank Lampard set a record of 160 consecutive English Premiership appearances during Saturday's 2-0 win at Portsmouth FC.

Landmark goal
The 27-year-old scored a penalty to help preserve the English champions' ten-point advantage in the title race - while surpassing goalkeeper David James's run of 159 straight games for Liverpool FC.

'Special player'
Lampard's achievement prompted widespread praise for the England international, with Mourinho insisting he would not swap Lampard for Ronaldinho "or any other player in the world". Lampard has not missed a Premiership match since 13 October 2001, when he came on as a substitute against Leicester City FC.

'Incredible record'
Mourinho said: "This record is unbelievable. Already for David James it was unbelievable, but he is a goalkeeper. Frank is a midfielder so to think he has had no injuries, no suspensions, no bad performances under two managers is incredible.

'Fair player'
"Not me, nor Claudio [Ranieri] left him out to rest him or because he was not playing well," he added. "You always get suspensions. Even if you are a fair player like he is - five yellow cards in a season is normal, but he doesn't get them. His record will be very difficult to beat. It is a great achievement."

FA Cup tie
The former West Ham United FC player was cautioned five times last term, but his one-game ban took in the home FA Cup tie against Scunthorpe United FC. Lampard's exploits have not gone unnoticed.

FIFA shortlist
He is short-listed for the FIFA World Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year awards, although he is likely to lose out to FC Barcelona's Ronaldinho on both occasions. Mourinho, however, said he would not trade Lampard for anyone.

'Fantastic brain'
"Other players have great talent - Ronaldinho, [Andriy] Shevchenko, Kaká - but this is my favourite player. Lampard has everything from the physical point of view, technically, tactically and what he has in his brain is fantastic."

Last updated: 29/11/05 11.25CET

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