Lampard: I never wanted to retire

Frank Lampard says he never considered retiring from international football despite being on the receiving end of criticism from England fans.

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Frank Lampard signs autographs for young fans (PA Photos)

The Chelsea midfielder, now 34, displayed his value to the England side when scoring twice in a 5-0 win over Moldova in their opening World Cup qualifier on Friday night.

He will win his 93rd cap in Tuesday's home qualifier against Ukraine at Wembley, the venue where he was booed by England supporters in 2007 and at irregular intervals ever since.

But Lampard appears to be in favour at present - both with supporters and manager Roy Hodgson - and says he has always been committed to his country.

"I'm pleased I didn't bail out when I was getting stick," Lampard said. "Because there can be easy routes, particularly when you get to 30: it seems like you're 'allowed' to retire from that age onwards.

"I was never interested in that. Whether I carry on playing one more game or 15, I'd like to think people will say, 'He was really proud to play for his country and put in a good contribution.' If they say that, I will be very happy.

"When I got injured in the summer [and missed Euro 2012], I never actually considered [retiring]. I haven't got it in me. I'm not saying I'll stay available to be picked forever because it becomes obvious at some stage.

"But it's not my thing. My dad has always been a quiet advocate of playing for your country and the fact you are a long time retired; while you feel you can contribute, do it.

"Even in those tough times, when I'd speak to Dad on the phone, if I'd had a tough game, or [was] getting stick, he was adamant on staying in the game because we are so privileged to be here. I didn't talk to him this summer as I knew the answer I'd have got: keep going."

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