Frank Lampard has hit back at New York City FC fans who booed him after he made his season’s debut in a 7-0 thumping by neighbours New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
The 37-year-old former Chelsea star, who is the fifth highest paid player in MLS on over £4million a year, has come under fire from New York supporters after arriving last July, while some US soccer pundits have labelled him the worst ever MLS signing.
Lampard made just 10 appearances in an injury-plagued first season in MLS and he only made his debut this season as a substitute in the thrashing by the Red Bulls.
The 106-cap England midfielder was booed by home fans at Yankee Stadium when he replaced Andrea Pirlo in the 75th minute, and then again when his name appeared on the big screen.
“I don’t think the fans are aware of the injury I had,” said Lampard. “If I’m getting booed for being injured, then there’s not much I can do about that.
“The only plus for me is that I feel physically very good. It’s been a difficult injury. To feel good, to feel 100 per cent and to come on and play a part was good for me personally, but obviously it was a very bad day for us.”
NYCFC fans were not very impressed as Frank Lampard made his first appearance of the season yesterday pic.twitter.com/em1nl5VeLL
— Onefootball (@Onefootball) May 22, 2016
The 7-0 defeat equalled the record for the heaviest loss in Major League Soccer history and although Lampard was public enemy number one on Saturday he was happy to get back on the pitch after several months of rehabilitation following a “nasty” calf injury.
“I had a nasty injury which was an 8-10 week injury,” added Lampard. “In the beginning doctors thought it was a small injury and it didn’t turn out to be that.
“I’ve been training morning and afternoon to get fit. People don’t see that. So if they’re going to boo for being injured, as I say there’s not much I can do [other] than get fit, play and show what I can do on the pitch.”