England manager Roy Hodgson has urged Frank Lampard to keep playing his football in Europe after the Chelsea midfielder scored the winner which saw England defeat Brazil in a thrilling friendly at Wembley.
Lampard is out of contract with Chelsea at the end of the season and has been linked with a possible move to America. But Hodgson believes 94-cap Lampard can be the next England player to top 100 and wants him to continue inspiring his country right through to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
Hodgson said: "He was excellent. I think he can (reach 100). I hope we'll keep Frank in England. It's not for me to discuss his future with his current club, that's for him and his club. I know he'll have a lot of offers if Chelsea do decide they're prepared to let him go."
"I'm rather hoping we'll still see him, if not in England then Europe which will make my task easier," Hodgson added. "If he goes further afield and follows David (Beckham to the MLS), it complicates matters but it doesn't mean your career is over with England. But the further afield you go, the more problematic it gets for the media and the England manager to follow you."
Lampard, 34, came off the bench as a second-half substitute for Tom Cleverley after Wayne Rooney had given England a first-half lead and proved a valuable old head among a myriad of youngsters. Goalkeeper Joe Hart also saved a first-half penalty from Ronaldinho while Brazil striker Fred hit an equaliser shortly after the interval to put England under severe pressure
England's young stars steal the show
But it was Arsenal's 21-year-old Jack Wilshere who stole the headlines after a man-of-the-match performance on his seventh appearance for his country which oozed style. Hodgson said: "I hope that gives them belief. We had quite a young team out there, with players 22 or younger. The man of the match was 21. Theo Walcott is 22 and was a contender. It was a blend of youth and experience."
"There were also young players in Cleverley, (Danny) Welbeck, (Chris) Smalling," noted Hodgson. "So it's nice they're blending with the experienced ones and seeing they're good enough to play in this team and win matches. The thing that pleased me the most was the character we showed after that dodgy spell at the start of the second half. They smelt a bit of blood, I thought we did well to survive that period and to get back on track and take control of the game again."
Hodgson was particularly impressed by Wilshere. "I was trying to protect him yesterday, but he doesn't need it," said Hodgson. "You can crank the expectations up as much as you like, but he's comfortable. As long as he's comfortable, why should I worry?
"I'm pleased with the way we went about our business," Hodgson said. "We didn't steal anything. Apart from that somewhat mad spell at the start of the second half we dealt well with the problems and questions asked of us. A good victory and let's hope it leads to more good performances between now and October."
Hodgson revealed he had spoken to Premier League managers, including Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson, before the match. "I make certain I let them know my thoughts on what I'd like to do," said Hodgson. "When I spoke to Alex, Wayne Rooney was coming back from an injury and he said he benefits from playing Smalling too."
"He was concerned about Cleverley and Welbeck who have played a lot of games for him and have a lot of games coming up, not least Real Madrid. I might have stolen 15 minutes for Welbeck, but I hope he'd forgive me."
Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari shrugged off the first defeat of his second stint in charge. He said: "I'm not disappointed, we played a strong England team in good physical form. We had seven, eight or nine players who have only just started with their preparations."
Scolari, however, was confident the outcome would be different when the two teams play again in the summer in Brazil. "All the England team were very strong and very organised," said Scolari. "I wasn't surprised, England always plays like that. Let's see what they will play like on June 2 in the Maracana. We aren't in the best physical condition yet."
Brazil's FIFA World Cup-winning manager in 2002 also backed his reputation to deliver results.
"I'm used to losing the first game but after this I'm used to winning games and winning competitions," Scolari said. "I'm not disappointed and I'm not sad. As long as we play against strong teams like England, France and Italy we will improve our capacity."