Frank Lampard has been confirmed as England captain for Saturday’s friendly international with Spain at Wembley.
The Chelsea midfielder will lead out England for the second time as the official skipper John Terry is not starting against the World Cup winners.
Lampard’s only other match as Fabio Capello’s on-field lieutenant was another friendly, against Denmark in Copenhagen, nine months ago which England won 2-1.
Manchester United defender Phil Jones will play in midfield against the Spanish, Capello said.
Manager Fabio Capello announced that Lampard will be be captain at a media conference ahead of the Spain encounter.
Lampard is no longer a guaranteed starter under Capello. He has only started one of this season’s three Euro 2012 qualifiers – against Wales – and was on the substitutes’ bench for the away matches with Bulgaria and Montenegro.
But he has been selected against the Spaniards and was the obvious candidate to lead the side in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard and out-of-form Rio Ferdinand.Capello confirmed Terry would lead the squad against Sweden on Tuesday, though, and insisted he had not been left out on Saturday as a result of the ongoing investigation into alleged racist comments made to Anton Ferdinand.
When asked if he had any doubts about keeping Terry as his permanent skipper, Capello told the press conference: “He is the team leader.
“He will play against Sweden but tomorrow he will be on the bench. We have six substitutions and I will decide on them during the game.
“For me, he (Terry) is innocent until proven guilty, absolutely. I respect every decision but I cannot speak about this.”
On whether or not he had made his choice to leave Terry out against Spain after the alleged incident at Loftus Road, Capello added: “I decided everything before what happened. I don’t like to speak about this.”
Capello was glad that the row over whether England could wear poppies on their shirts had reached some resolution.
“I respect the soldiers that died,” he said. “I am really proud to wear this (poppy) because the sacrifice of the solders was really important.
“What FIFA decide is a political problem, not mine.”
Having confirmed Lampard would lead the side and that Jones would start, Capello was reluctant to disclose the rest of his team.
“I always decide my line-up on the day of the game because sometimes things happen to players,” he said.
“The players will only know tomorrow.”
Capello also conceded he was taking a slight risk by making changes ahead of a meeting with the number-one ranked team in the world.
“We take a risk, not a lot, because we are preparing really well,” he said.
“We respect all teams, Spain, and we know the style of Spain is different.”
Lampard spoke of his delight at being named captain but insisted he had no aims to try and claim the armband on a permanent basis.
“It will be my proudest moment in an England shirt I think and I’ve had a few, playing in tournaments but to lead your country out at Wembley, at your home ground, is a very special moment. I’m absolutely delighted,” he said.
Asked if it was difficult to take on the captaincy for just one match before his club-mate Terry returns to the role against Sweden, Lampard said: “Not difficult at all. It’s just a very proud moment for me. I’ve no hold on the captain’s armband, I’ve no wishes to try and get it, I’m 33 now, I’m just very honoured to have it for the second time.
“John’ s the captain, it’s been well stated, and he’s a very, very good captain.”
Asked about Terry, Lampard said: “He’s coping just fine, he’s coping as he’s always coped. We’ve all had our moments in football, 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 on Tuesday and in the future you’ll see exactly the same John as usual.”Regarding the dispute over being able to wear poppies tomorrow, Lampard said: “It’s a huge thing for us. You have to give a lot of credit and thanks to the people who made it happen.
“As players we do a lot of work with the military boys, you’ll see a lot here tomorrow and see them at every England game and I think if we were to be running out and not showing our respects in a way I think we would be letting them down.
“”Fortunately enough when we turned up yesterday the decision was made. I think we would have sat down and had a good think about it, because I know personally how proud we are to play and what an important day remembrance day is so were very pleased we’ve got to where we’ve got.”
Asked if the England players considered defying FIFA’s initial ruling, Lampard said: “I wouldn’t say we considered defying it, but we would have sat down and asked ‘How important is this to us?’
“And I know how important it is because of the soldiers we interact with so much and the reason we’re here.
“I’m very proud of the freedoms that we have and we know why we’ve got them. And we want to be able to show that.”