• Champions League

Lampard: Drogba as good as Henry

ESPN staff
May 20, 2012
Didier Drogba was Chelsea's hero in the penalty shootout against Bayern Munich © PA Photos

Frank Lampard says Didier Drogba is "right up there with Thierry Henry" and has called on the Ivorian striker and the rest of the Chelsea old guard to stay together in the wake of their Champions League triumph.

Drogba was the hero as Chelsea claimed the European Cup for the first time in their 107-year history with a dramatic win over Bayern Munich on Saturday.

It was Drogba who hauled the Blues over the line, holding his nerve to score the decisive spot-kick as Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties to stun the German side at the Allianz Arena.

Following the dramatic finale in the Champions League showpiece, of paramount importance is sorting out Drogba's immediate future. The striker's contract is up next month and there are no guarantees he will be offered a new one, although chairman Bruce Buck has revealed that the club are set to hold talks with the 33-year-old.

Whether he stays or goes, Drogba has earned the right to be spoken of in the same light as some of the modern day greats, according to Lampard.

He said: "People talk about whether this is his last game for Chelsea, but he has been an absolute hero for this club.

"People talk about [Thierry] Henry, [Wayne] Rooney, the great strikers, but he is right up there. People that score in finals and in the big games, he is right up there."

Lampard, meanwhile, says it is imperative a host of Chelsea's older players remain at Stamford Bridge, insisting the club must use their cup success as a launch pad for next season.

"Teams are always changing, but why should we stop now?" Lampard said. "We want to carry on, move forwards. We've won the FA Cup and now the Champions League and the determination and spirit we have shown, it's been fantastic."

He added: "The key players have been there a long time and we want to win, we are determined to win, in the dressing room we have a tough group.

"We struggled earlier in the season, confidence was low, but there is a real determination here, and when times are hard, we dig in. If you had asked me three months ago if we would win this competition, I would have laughed. But we have done."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.