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Football: Lampard to captain England against Ecuador

Frank Lampard will captain England in their pre-World Cup friendly against Ecuador on Wednesday as he looks to refocus after his emotional decision to leave Chelsea after 13 years.

MIAMI: Frank Lampard will captain England in their pre-World Cup friendly against Ecuador on Wednesday as he looks to refocus after his emotional decision to leave Chelsea after 13 years.

"I am very proud as always. It was very difficult to leave Chelsea after 13 years," he said of the decision he announced on Monday. "I move on, the club moves on.

"After 13-years the club became part of my life. It is difficult, but you have to move on and I am concentrated on playing for England. It was a relief to say it."

The veteran in Roy Hodgson's squad at the age of 35, Lampard will anchor a midfield that could feature several of the younger talents in the England squad.

"Everyone is fit," Hodgson said after training at SunLife stadium.

"There will be changes to the team but I cannot speak in detail because we will have a meeting where we will go through Ecuador and our preparation for the game. At that time I will tell the team who is playing," he said.

Hodgson said he wasn't looking to learn anything in particular but simply wanted his team to get another game under their belt as they build up to Brazil.

"I know a lot about the team and am comfortable with the 23 players I have brought here. It is a preparation game in the build-up to the opening game on June 14. I hope I get no injuries."

Lampard believes he has an important role in passing on his knowledge from two previous World Cup campaigns to the new faces.

"Myself, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart have got the most experience and our job is to help them around the hotel and in the dressing room," Lampard said.

"We are a link to the boss and the staff and we obviously have to play well."

In the past England teams have been accused of playing with fear in big tournaments but Lampard is sending the younger players, such as Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley, the message that they need to perform with freedom.

"For any squad it is important to have a good mix of young and slightly older experienced players," he said.

"You need to let them go, let them play without fear and let them play with the talents that have got them into the squad."

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