England coach Fabio Capello has named Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard as captain for Wednesday's international friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen.
The 32-year-old has been handed the charge after injuries to regular captain Rio Ferdinand and Vice-captain Steven Gerrard. Ferdinand is ruled out with a groin injury sustained before Manchester United played Wolves on Saturday, while Gerrard sustained an injury at Chelsea on Sunday despite playing the whole 90 minutes.
Fabio Capello, England national team coach, said, ''I spoke with him (Lampard) about his injury that he suffered and I have been monitoring him during the last five games that he played. He has improved a lot. I saw him play against Liverpool and thought that he had a really good game - probably he is fresher than the other players.''
Though he will captain a depleted England side, Lampard, who will win his 84th International cap, said it would be a huge honor.
I am very proud, it is quite unexpected, he said. I've been in the squad for a long time time now and I've go to a point where I am one of the old stagers. It will be one of the proudest moments of my career.
''I did have it (the armband) in the second half against Austria, under Steve McClaren and I was very proud then, but to actually walk out as captain is a huge deal. It's one of those things that, as a kid, you grow up dreaming about.
''I will try and do what I do for Chelsea. I won't change my character because of the armband. I want to be an example in the way that I play and talk to the players around me and hopefully that will have a strong influence on the team.
''The side certainly has other leaders, as we know. But I will just try and do my usual job and have an influence on the team.''
Capello also confirmed that Ashley Cole, recently voted England's fans player of the year, would start the game which would make him England's most capped full-back. Arsenal's midfielder Jack Wilshere will also start in what would be his first full debut for the national team. Aston Villa's Darren Bent will also lead the line from the start.
Capello said, ''I have watched two games he (Bent) has played for Aston Villa. When he was with Sunderland he played a different style because the manager asked him to stay close to the box and be fresh to score goals, but now he runs a lot more, presses a lot because the team play with a different style.
''He played well before but if you want to play with the seniors at this moment you have to be good when you go forward but also when you have to win the ball back and I think he has improved a lot.''