Frank Lampard was worried Manchester City move would tarnish Chelsea legacy
Watch Man City vs Chelsea on Saturday Night Football from 5pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 5.30pm
By Greg Grimes
Last Updated: 23/11/19 7:09am
Frank Lampard has revealed he was concerned by the reaction of Chelsea fans when he made his move to Manchester City in 2014.
Lampard made 648 appearances for Chelsea before leaving to join City when his contract expired at the end of the 2013/14 season.
He scored his first goal for City in a 1-1 draw against his former club, with Chelsea fans chanting his name throughout the game and even after he had denied them victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Despite leaving the club, Lampard believes his bond with Chelsea fans grew even stronger.
"Maybe [the relationship reached a new level], yeah. I think the reaction of me going to City was something I was concerned about, I'm not going to lie after 13 years here. I wondered at 36 whether the year there was something that I should take on because of what I feel about this club.
"My professional head and the challenge of it and the period I had where I wasn't going to be playing games for New York all came together and made me take a decision which was quite tough at the time. To then see the feeling I got from the Chelsea fans was an emotional thing for me and it hasn't stopped from that day."
Despite an emotional ovation from Chelsea's fans, then manager Jose Mourinho did not share the same warmth for Lampard in his post-match interview.
The Portuguese coach told Sky Sports in September 2014: "Frank Lampard is a Man City player. When he decided to go to a direct competitor then love stories are over."
Ironically, Lampard's reunion with City as Chelsea head coach comes in the same week Mourinho has joined a 'direct competitor' of Chelsea's in Tottenham, while Lampard's 'love story' with Chelsea continues.
"At the time I didn't feel it was quite right'
Lampard added: "At the time I didn't feel it was quite right. I think it was directly after the match. I think the emotions of the match where I scored the equalising goal can affect the comment or type of comment.
"The love story or not is always decided by the fans and the club. I think it's proven now I am managing the club. I think a lot of people understood how I felt about Chelsea and always did and always will do regardless of the year at Manchester City."
Lampard says, despite wanting to end his career in west London, he does not regret his final few years with City and New York City FC in the MLS.
He believes those experiences have helped prepare him for life in management after spending 13 years in the same dressing room.
"I wanted to finish my career at Chelsea but it didn't work that way. The year in Manchester was perfect for what I am doing now. It opened my eyes to another club, another structure, another dressing room, another coaching philosophy and another idea. Then in New York again that continued, it started to shape what you're thinking next.
"I can't look back on my career now with any negative feelings even though it meant leaving Chelsea. I am thankful I had a long career at great places."
How to follow Man City vs Chelsea
Manchester City vs Chelsea is live on Saturday Night Football from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.