Frank Lampard gives strongest indication yet he will sign new Chelsea contract
Frank Lampard gave the strongest hint yet he will remain at Chelsea after leading the side to Europa League glory.
Last Updated: 16/05/13 1:29pm
Lampard was named captain in John Terry's absence as an injury-time Branislav Ivanovic goal secured a 2-1 victory over Benfica in Amsterdam.
Chelsea's second successive European title came after a day of rumours that the midfielder, who became the club's record goalscorer at the weekend, will finally be given a new contract after months of speculation.
And, as he prepared to lift the trophy alongside regular skipper Terry, Lampard was asked whether he will still be at Stamford Bridge next season.
He told ITV: "I really, really hope so. We haven't sat down completely on it, but I hope so and the club's been brilliant so it looks good."
Lampard was a couple of inches away from scoring a late winner with a fierce shot which cannoned back off the crossbar.
He said: "I was waiting for it to dip, but it doesn't matter because we're a team.
"It was a bit tight tonight at times what with the long season and everything in it, but there's loads of desire in this team and we've shown it time and time again.
"No one deserves this more than Ivanovic - he's been absolutely fantastic."
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez also had words of praise for Lampard, describing the 34-year-old as a "great professional".
Benitez said: "He has worked hard in every training session and now, at the end, I think we could see he has improved.
"Some people were surprised when I said that but he has scored a lot of goals in this period. Maybe it was because we were managing him quite well.
"When you play two games a week, with his age and commitment, sometimes you are not fresh. You can see he still has a lot of football. He is fit and next year he will do well again."