Frank Lampard saved Cristiano Ronaldo from certain red card with incredible act of sportsmanship as Chelsea legend refused to play dirty against Manchester United hero


Nostalgia makes us yearn for the days of football when everything felt better.

Boring tactical stalemates, play-acting, narcissism – the things which make your dad shout ‘not in my day’ at the telly – are growing evermore prevalent.

This famous moment has been doing the rounds on social media

Sky Sports

This famous moment has been doing the rounds on social media

Lampard's reaction is something you don't see anymore


Lampard’s reaction is something you don’t see anymore

For those who remember the days of Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira, the game isn’t just gone, it left a long time ago and now has a new wife and kids.

Nothing sums that up better than this historic exchange between Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo.

Back in 2009, when the two English giants were alongside Barcelona as the greatest teams in Europe, the Red Devils cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Blues at Old Trafford during a top-flight meeting.

But their victory was almost jeapordised by a reckless, studs-up challenge from Ronaldo on Lampard.

Already on a yellow card, the Portuguese forward lunged at the England midfielder’s ankle in a tackle that would have been shown a straight red card in 2022 without a moment’s hesitation.

Lampard, no doubt, knew he could get Ronaldo sent off if he claimed the contact hurt more than it actually did.

But the Blues icon refused to play dirty and roll around, immediately accepting his opponent’s apology.

Lampard even joked to the referee that he should show Ronaldo a second yellow, much to the forward’s brief dismay, before the midfielder reassured everyone that he was only messing around.

With 18 minutes left and facing a two-goal deficit, Chelsea would have fancied their chances against ten men – and perhaps Ronaldo’s challenge warranted a red card regardless of Lampard’s actions.

But while nobody remembers the Blues losing at Old Trafford that day, Lampard’s remarkable act of sportsmanship is trending on Twitter 13-years later on his 44th birthday.

Now a manager at Everton, Lampard’s views on gamesmanship were on full display during his previous spell at Derby.

The Toffees boss was caught up in ‘spygate’ after former Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa sent spies to watch the Rams train.

Lampard helped keep Everton in the Premier League last season

Getty Images

Lampard helped keep Everton in the Premier League last season

When asked for his thoughts on Bielsa’s actions, Lampard said: “It’s not the way I do things.

“If that’s it then I do not like it and I’d rather not coach than send people undercover on their hands and knees with pliers and bolt cutters to look at the opposition because I respect the opposition.

“I shake their hand before it and I shake their hand at the end of the game and I try my best to beat them.

“That’s just how I do it and that’s not me painting myself as an angel because if I can try and win a game then I will do but as I say, there are some things that go beyond what’s right I believe.”

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