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May 21, 2013

Lampard praises 'brilliant' Mourinho

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard offered a glowing endorsement of Jose Mourinho ahead of his anticipated return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

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Real Madrid confirmed on Monday that Mourinho would be leaving his post as manager of Los Blancos this summer after three years at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

That announcement came amid widespread speculation that the Portuguese would be returning to Stamford Bridge, where there is a vacancy to be filled following the end of Rafa Benitez's tenure as interim manager.

Lampard won two Premier League titles among the seven trophies he claimed during Mourinho's first spell at the club, and the 34-year-old had nothing but praise for his former boss.

"It's a presence and an aura to galvanise people," Lampard told talkSPORT on Monday before Real confirmed Mourinho's departure. "His personal confidence rubs off on people. Tactically he's very astute and while he might rub people up the wrong way, he gets the best out of players. I've never seen anyone do it like him before.

"He is brilliant with his team tactically, he is brilliant with his players and I think he is brilliant with the press. He made me believe I could be better than what I was. He convinced me I could really get to the top. Mourinho was the best, for me he was and took my game to another level."

Lampard added that despite all the managerial changes during his time at the club, the stability required to produce success has been provided by the star names who have been ever-present throughout Chelsea's most successful era.

"There is a real spine and determination in the team and everyone who comes in has to buy into the Chelsea way," he said. "It started with Dennis Wise. John Terry has taken it on, I took it on, the Didier Drogbas and the Petr Cechs took it on. The new guys that come in have to take it on or ship out.

"Stability would be great. Look at Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson] at Man United, we'd all like it that way, but whether you agree with the way Chelsea do it, the trophies are there for all to see.

"Look at us winning the Champions League last season. We didn't win it like Barcelona did beating Man United at Wembley [in 2011]. We won it with a real determination and it was the same last week in the Europa League. A winning mentality."

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