Jose Mourinho has revealed he was not expecting Frank Lampard to join Manchester City after leaving Chelsea.
He remains as a Blues legend having made 648 appearances and became the club’s all-time leading goalscorer with an incredible 211 strikes.
Lampard agreed terms with New York City after making his Blues exit but then signed a short-term loan deal with Manuel Pellegrini's champions.
It was a move that surprised Mourinho, who will come face-to-face with his former player when he takes Chelsea to the Etihad on Sunday.
“It’s football. If you’d said that four or five years ago, I would have said it was strange,” said Mourinho.
“Even a few months ago, when he signed for the New York team, I was not expecting this. But it was his decision.
“It’s life. When he left for New York, I thought he was going there. But it’s his life, his decision, and he has my respect for that.”