Frank Lampard's future role with Chelsea came under renewed scrutiny when he was substituted after scoring in a 1-1 Champions' League match with Valencia Wednesday.
Lampard's crisp finish of a Florent Malouda cross gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead at the Mestalla, but in the final minutes a handball foul by his replacement, Salomon Kalou, provided Valencia with penalty kick by which it claimed the result.
"I always want to play, that's a given. I've been like that throughout my career," said Lampard, who last played a full match on September 10. "I love playing for this club. I am very proud of playing here. I've had knocks before in my career – it makes me work harder to come back."
Lampard's goal was his 20th in the Champions League; since manager Andre Villas-Boas took over during the summer for Carlo Ancelotti he has left Lampard, 33, off the lineup sheet three times.
Said Villas-Boas of Lampard's contribution against Valencia, "It was good performance. There is nothing to say. A good performance and display from a top player, one of the best in the squad who works to obtain our collective objectives."