After a slow start, New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard has come alive, netting his first five goals of the season in the club’s previous six games.
Lampard, the 38-year-old English star, recently shared with amNewYork his typical off-day routine and favorite restaurant spots in the Big Apple ahead of NYCFC’s matchup against the rival New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
What is your favorite spot in the city?
Central Park. I love to go walk around with the family and the dog and people watch and take in the atmosphere. Never gets boring.
What is a typical off-day like for you in the city?
I love New York brunch. I like to go downtown and have brunch in SoHo or the Lower East Side or the West Village. Walk around, drink coffee, go for a nice early evening dinner — just feel the buzz of the city.
What does it mean to you to represent the city?
A huge amount. I felt very quickly the passion and the feeling that New Yorkers have toward their city as a whole but also their sports teams. I bought into that straight away, and everyone here has, and it means a huge deal to try and make the fans proud of the team they have.
What is your favorite city restaurant?
There’s lots. River Café in Brooklyn for the views. Have to mention my local Irish pub Bloom’s — great to watch sports. And Miss Lily’s — that’s my favorite.
What is your favorite New York team other than New York City FC?
I love going to watch the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. I love taking the kids, and the atmosphere is fantastic.
How did you first start playing soccer?
My dad played. I grew up in a football family. As soon as I could walk, I had a ball at my feet. That was everything that I wanted to do from a very young age.
What has been the most memorable moment of your soccer career?
Winning the Champions League at Chelsea. It’s the ultimate club competition in the world. I fought for it for many years and finally won it. It’s quite comfortably the greatest team achievement I have ever been a part of.
What are some of your non-soccer hobbies?
I like reading in my downtime. Any downtime activities I like. I work hard and am quite focused on my career, so that’s why New York is great for me because on the days off there is so much to do in terms of spending quality time with my family and eating and walking around and such.
What music do you enjoy listening to on gamedays?
I like pumped up music and hip-hop. Jay Z is my favorite — I’m waiting to bump into him in the city.