Veterans Ryan Giggs and Frank Lampard are model pros in pool of Premier League greed
Today, top level footballers are criticised for earning excessive multi-million pound salaries prematurely without commitment to the game.
But while it is easy to tarnish all players with the same brush, there are one or two guiding lights who kick against the popular perception.
Midfield maestros Ryan Giggs and Frank Lampard – who locked horns in last night’s dour 0-0 draw – will undoubtedly play a major role in whether the Premier League title will stay at Old Trafford or return to Stamford Bridge and these are just two who buck the trend.
Welsh wizard Giggs embodies the consistency and stamina that all aspiring footballers should hope for, as the club’s record appearance holder with 944 games to his name over the last 23 years.
Giggs’ achievement is remarkable and is testament to his dedication and passion for the game, given the demanding frequency of domestic and European games Manchester United play.
In the capital, Lampard is a box-to-box player who dispatches penalties with ease and is a venomous free-kick taker that leaves goalkeepers with no chance of saving them.
His 30-yard screamer against Hull City on the opening day of the season was further evidence of Lampard’s ability to change a game with an unexpected moment of brilliance.
Despite being a central midfielder, Lampard has a goal scoring record that most forwards would be proud of.
He has scored an extraordinary 166 goals making him the only midfield player to have scored 150 goals or more in the Premier League and is fourth on the Premier League’s all time top scorers list.
While being a left-winger, whose role means they create more assists and score few goals, Giggs has maintained his record of being the only player to have played and scored in every Premier League season since its inception in 1992.
Giggs’ age has not resulted in or loss in his contribution to the team, even if on occasions he has come off the bench.
The 39-year-old scored crucial goals against Everton and Queens Park Rangers last season to help give the club a record 20th Premiership title.
When media reports in May 2013 suggested that Lampard could leave the club as a free agent as the club was stalling offering him a new contract, he maintained his desire to remain at Stamford Bridge and did not publically criticise the Blues’ hierarchy for their dallying.
Lampard eventually signed a one-year contract extension with the club, which is probably a lesson to all players seeking a new contract to conduct themselves.
For England, Lampard has been an ever-present performer and considered to be one of the team’s best players and matchwinners.
At World Cups and European Championships, Lampard has been the bright light among England’s regular dismal last 16 and quarter-final exits. He was named in the Euro 2004 team of the tournament, scoring three goals in four games.
Giggs and Lampard are model examples of consistency and professionalism that should be examples to aspiring and younger footballers alike.
Both players earn multi-million pound salaries, but on the basis of their service to their clubs Giggs and Lampard are worth every penny.