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'Willian could play for any team in the world' - Chelsea star lauded by Lampard

8:31 AM GMT 15/03/2018
Willian Chelsea
The Brazilian forward impressed in a two-legged Champions League tie with Barcelona, earning him high praise from a former Stamford Bridge favourite

Willian is capable of playing for “any team in the world”, says Frank Lampard, with the Chelsea star not looking out of place alongside Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi.

The Brazil international has graced the same field as an iconic Argentine on two occasions over recent weeks.

In the first, he struck the woodwork before opening the scoring in a heavyweight Champions League last-16 encounter, before impressing again in a return date at Camp Nou.

His efforts were not enough to prevent Chelsea from slipping to a 4-1 aggregate defeat, but Lampard believes the 29-year-old proved that he can be considered an elite performer.

The Blues legend told BT Sport after a 3-0 Messi-inspired victory for Barcelona over Antonio Conte’s side on Wednesday: “Willian was basically at the middle of everything good that they [Chelsea] did.

“He is on top form at the moment, without a doubt Willian now could easily play in any team in the world.

“He could have played in Barcelona’s team. We wax lyrical about Messi, I think Willian can play at that level.”

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was also quick to hail Willian’s impact on the grandest of stages, adding: “Willian was the stand-out player for Chelsea.

“Like Frank said he can go into any team in the world at the moment, on that type of form, you want to see that week in week out from him.”

Willian has previously admitted that the opportunity to join Barcelona or Real Madrid would be “a dream” for any player, but has countered those comments by expressing a desire to spend “more years” at Chelsea.