Frank Lampard too good for MLS – Steven Gerrard glad that England team-mate stayed in the Premier League

Lampard and Gerrard, together for England against Moldova – and working to great effect. Photo: PA

Steven Gerrard is happy that Frank Lampard did not put his international career in jeopardy by moving to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

As part of a drive to lower the average age of their squad, Chelsea were reluctant to extend Lampard's contract for most of last season, even though he was playing some of the best football of his long and successful career.

While Chelsea dallied, LA Galaxy showed an interest in the midfielder. The promise of a lucrative contract and a luxurious life on the sunny west coast of California would certainly have appealed to Lampard. It would appeal to anyone.

But having watched David Beckham's international opportunities dwindle upon moving to America, Lampard was keen to remain in the UK and after Chelsea finally came to their senses, the Londoner remained at Stamford Bridge.

He has carried his form in to the new season both with club and country and now he stands on the verge of collecting his 100th cap - something which Gerrard seems to doubt would have been possible had he moved to Los Angeles.

"Of course he made the right choice. He was too good for LA Galaxy in my opinion," the England captain said.

"Everyone saw how good he was at the end of last season for Chelsea.

"Of course I would have supported his decision if he had decided to go to LA Galaxy, but for me he still had a lot to offer in the Premier League and certainly for England.

"I would have been sad if he had moved away because he is a great player."

Lampard has seen a lot of changes in the England camp since he made his debut in 1999 when a team containing Alan Shearer, Tony Adams, Paul Ince and Steve Guppy beat Belgium 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.

The 35-year-old has scored 29 times for his country, he has worn the captain's armband five times and he has played in four major tournaments - the most memorable of which being the 2010 World Cup when his goal against Germany was not given even though the ball crossed the line.

Having made his England debut in 2000, Gerrard has been alongside Lampard in the international set-up for most of his career, and the Liverpool captain is looking forward to the moment when he and the Chelsea midfielder step out on the pitch in Kiev on Tuesday.

"No one deserves it more than he does," Gerrard added.

"He has been tremendous for club and country.

"He has been a top player and hopefully I will be on the pitch to share that moment with him because I have been with him all the way through.

"He is a good friend of mine and I can't wait for him to get it."

For much of their time in the national squad, the common perception has been that Gerrard and Lampard were too similar to play alongside each other in midfield.

That problem dogged the reigns of Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello, but as the duo have aged, their games have seemingly become more compatible.

That was more clear than ever on Friday night against Moldova when Gerrard sat deep, firing pinpoint passes from deep while Lampard operated further up the pitch alongside the dynamic Jack Wilshere.

Gerrard, who scored England's opener following a pass from Lampard, was happy with how he and Lampard played together.

"A lot of people talk about me and Frank being in the same team, but we enjoy playing together," the England captain said.

"We have had tons of criticism over the years about playing together. But it's always nice to get a win and be on the same team."

With so much focus being on Lampard's landmark, it would be easy to forget just how important Tuesday's game in Kiev is.

Defeat would knock England off the top of Group H with just two games to go, but Gerrard is upbeat about the team's chances of victory even though they are without key players like Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney, and possibly Daniel Sturridge.

"We have nothing to fear and can go there full of confidence," the 33-year-old said.

"We need to believe in ourselves, roll our sleeves up and put in a performance because if we were to get all three points it puts us in the driving seat."

Watch Ukraine v England LIVE on ITV on Tuesday night