Frank Lampard celebrates his 43rd birthday today.
The Chelsea legend has been out of management since being dismissed by Roman Abramovich in January 2021, but he has appeared as a pundit during Euro 2020.
As one of the greatest midfielders of his generation and a former player of two of the most successful teams of the Premier League era, Lampard has had the pleasure of playing alongside a plethora of first-class footballers.
During an interview with Planet Football, the former England international ranked the top five players he turned out alongside during his esteemed career.
Four Chelsea players got his vote and there was space for one from Manchester City.
Let's take a look at who made the cut:
5. Sergio Aguero
Manchester City's all-time record goal scorer is arguably the greatest foreigner in Premier League history.
Lampard linked up with Sergio Aguero during a one-year stint at the Etihad Stadium, and he labelled him as a world-class talent in a glowing verdict on the Argentine.
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“I was not at Man City for long, but straight away you could see that this guy was world-class. The goals he scored on the training pitch every day were frightening and he took that on to the field.
“You only need to look at his record since he came to City to appreciate what a class act he is and he was great to play with.”
4. Gianfranco Zola
Next up is Gianfranco Zola, who Lampard lined up alongside on 93 occasions.
“He means so much to Chelsea fans. Of all the foreign players who came to the club at the start of the new era if you like, Zola is the one the fans loved more than any other.
“He was fantastic on and off the field. A great fella and a fantastic footballer.”
3. Eden Hazard
Lampard suggested that Eden Hazard could be in the same bracket as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi if he added consistency to his game, though it looks too late for the Belgian now at 30 years of age.
“There is no limit to how far he can go. Hazard is the most naturally gifted player I played with and on his day he is unstoppable.
“He has said he wants to be up there with the best players in the world and he has the talent to do that. He just needs to add the consistency and the goals of a Messi or a Ronaldo to be considered in that class.”
1. John Terry/Didier Drogba
Sitting firmly on the fence in regard to top spot, Lampard couldn't separate John Terry and Didier Drogba as he cited their tendency to deliver the goods in big games as the reason behind his selection.
“First and foremost they are great footballers, but they are also winners and that is what sets them apart from most players.
“In the big games, when it matters the most, these men, and that is what they are, stood up to be counted, and they are comfortably the top two I have played with for that reason.”