Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes Barcelona are the best team in Europe ahead of the sides' Champions League semi-final first leg clash at the Nou Camp next week. Lampard has scored 20 goals in all competitions for Chelsea this season, with his two against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in the quarter-final second leg setting up the clash with the Catalans.
And the Blues’ talisman has hailed Pep Guardiola’s side following the form they have shown this season, keeping them on course for a La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble.
“Barcelona are the best team in Europe at the present time,” he told El Mundo. “At least they are the team in form in Europe.” The 30-year-old was believed to be on the verge of a move to Catalonia two years ago, with rumours surfacing that he and his Spanish fiancee Elen were looking at houses in Barcelona.
However, he insists he has no regrets about not leaving Stamford Bridge for sunnier shores. “No, I do not [regret it]," he said. "I did stay at Chelsea and I am very happy." And the former West Ham man revealed he is relishing the prospect of playing at the Nou Camp again this season, saying it is every footballer’s dream to compete at the 100,000 capacity arena.
It will be the fifth time the Blues have travelled there since the turn of the century. The West Londoners have drawn on their last two visits with Lampard scoring in both.
“[Playing there] is very special, it is the best place to play football on the continent," he said. “I have no idea whether they are the competition’s favourites or not. What matters most is what happens on the pitch on the day.”
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