Lampard - Comparisons not fair
But midfielder admits there are lessons to learn from London Games
Last Updated: August 15, 2012 11:36am
Frank Lampard: Recognises the importance of footballers keeping their emotions in check
England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard does not think it is fair to make comparisons between the Olympic spirit and football.
Lampard, who will skipper the Three Lions in Wednesday night's friendly with Italy in Berne, was impressed with the atmosphere and sportsmanship on show for the past two weeks when Team GB won 29 gold medals.
But the midfielder also knows there is a difference between everyone being united behind the nation and the high-pressure demands on football with supporters backing their own teams.
"The Olympics are a fantastic occasion. We were very fortunate to hold them and to hold them so well," he said.
"Football is played at this real level now of importance. It's tribal. That creates a different thing to what the Olympics creates"
Frank Lampard Quotes of the week
"You'll get the obvious comparisons. We know we have our failures in football. Everyone has them.
"The contestants, the atmosphere in the crowd, the interaction of different countries together in one place was great to see. If we can all take a lesson from that, every one of us, then that will be a good thing.
"All the competitors, the Olympians, particularly Team GB, performed very well and in a very sportsmanlike way. But football and the Olympics are different things.
Ups and downs
"The happy atmosphere, you don't always get at football matches. Sometimes things are shouted from the outside, the atmosphere is more hostile.
"In football, we're all born with our allegiances. It becomes almost a religion for people who watch it so we take ups and downs in different ways. That's the beauty of the game, to a point.
"I've gone back to West Ham and they've called me all the names under the sun. Inside, I was tense going into games, reacting inside. It becomes much more diluted over the years."
Lampard added: "The whole ethos of the Olympics is the taking part ethos. Of course you want to win your medals. There's a lot of appreciation for people who have worked four years solidly.
"Certainly I appreciate a rower who gets up at 5am every morning for four years for one event. When you hear the athletes speak after winning or losing, they're very humble people. We can all take that on board.
"Football is about winning. I teach my kids to want to win. But you have to respect the fact you can't win all the time.
"With Chelsea and England, you remember the defeats even more than the wins. That's not a bad thing and you have to learn to lose in the right way.
"You can make too much comparing the two things. Football is played at this real level now of importance. It's tribal. That creates a different thing to what the Olympics creates."
But Lampard does recognise the importance of footballers keeping their emotions in check in terms of what is acceptable behaviour.
"It's unfortunate. I've done it before and have watched myself back on telly and thought it was a bit embarrassing just how much I was screaming when you know the decision's done, but you can't help sometimes getting involved in it," he said.
"That's how much you care. Fans like to see you care. Fans shout as many things as we do. It's what we're in it for, to win.
"There's obviously a line you try to keep one side of given kids are watching of course. I've stepped over it myself and you have a word with yourself. You don't mean to. You want to win in a good way."