When Frank Lampard reaches a century of international caps when England take on Ukraine in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Kiev, the Chelsea stalwart does it without a tinge of sentimentality or regret.
Primarily because Lampard, the fourth of England's modern-day golden generation to reach the milestone in the last five years, can look at himself in the mirror knowing he replicated his club form on the international circuit and fulfilled the mantra as a national role model.
In at least one regard, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole's contribution either to their country or the profile of English football can be doubted. Lampard has meanwhile performed with honour, integrity and undoubted quality.
The top scoring midfielder in Premier League history, Lampard is second only to England's record goalscorer Sir Bobby Charlton in the national team's highest scoring midfielders and ninth in the all-time list.
Off the pitch, Lampard lives his life away from the media spotlight. Engaged to television personality Christine Bleakley, you would never know it. The 35 year old Chelsea midfielder isn't being briefed by lawyers, filing insurance claims or making grieving public apologies either; the exemplary footballer in an age where public scrutiny is at an all-time high.
His importance to his country has come full circle. A well-documented inability to fuse with Steven Gerrard saw his influence wane while he continued to flourish for Chelsea, hitting double figures in terms of goals for 10 consecutive seasons while picking up every major club honour imaginable. For England, the emergence of Jack Wilshere should have prepared Lampard's international eulogy.
But now, in a team of albeit few thrills under the guidance of Roy Hodgson, Lampard is among the most important assets of the national side. Metronomic both with the ball at his feet and at the penalty spot, a figure of calm in a withdrawn role alongside Gerrard; the dependence on the ex-West Ham United man approaches crucial.
The trip to Kiev on Tuesday night evokes memories of previous World Cup qualification triumphs for England. Rome '97 and Manchester '01 are among them and while the result in Ukraine nor confirms England's fate nor dashes it; headlines are there to be grabbed. A night made for England's Mr Dependable.
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