Lampard to captain England against Spain

Last Updated: Nov 12, 2011, 17:37 PM IST

London: Frank Lampard will enjoy his `proudest moment` when he captains England in Saturday`s friendly against Spain before regular skipper and Chelsea team-mate John Terry returns to face Sweden next Tuesday.

Manager Fabio Capello said Terry, who is being investigated by the FA after allegations that he racially abused Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand last month, would be on the bench against the world champions.

"He is innocent until proven guilty," Capello told a news conference Friday when asked about Terry, who has denied the allegations.

"He will be on the bench against Spain but play against Sweden Tuesday."

Lampard, who will be handed the armband for the game at Wembley, told a news conference: "I am 33 now and just very honoured to have (the captaincy)."

Lampard has captained his country once before, when they travelled to Denmark for a friendly in February.

"It will be my proudest moment in an England shirt," said Lampard. "To be at the home ground will be a very special moment and I am delighted."

Lampard was a member of an England side that beat Spain 3-0 in 2001, but was keen to point out that the current world and European champions will be a very different prospect.

"The level they have reached is different to the other eras," he said. "We are aware of what we are up against as they are the best team in the world.

"But we have our responsibilities and it is a huge day for us. You can`t add any more to what it means to play for England and we`re all aware of that."

Asked about Terry, Lampard said the defender was coping well amid the FA and police investigation.

"We`ve all had our moments in football," he said. "I`ve had them personally when it`s a difficult time for whatever reason and John certainly has a very, very strong character -- everyone knows that.

"We`ve all carried on with our jobs as normal and John`s the same. When you see John Tuesday, and in the future, you`ll see exactly the same John as usual."

Capello gave little away about other aspects of his team selection, but did say Manchester United defender Phil Jones would start in midfield, a position he has also occupied for the Premier League champions.

Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has withdrawn from the squad with an injury, the FA said in a statement.

Bureau Report