They are no longer teammates, but they are far from strangers. Juan Mata has paid tribute publicly to Frank Lampard, whose Chelsea career is at an end after 13 seasons.
Mata played alongside Lampard at Chelsea between 2011 and this January, when he was surprisingly sold to Manchester United.
The way the fixtures panned out, Mata never had the chance to play against his old Chelsea teammate, the club's all-time leading goalscorer.
Mata is currently in America training with the Spanish international squad ahead of the World Cup.
Lampard himself is expected to play Major League Soccer next year and leave the Premier League behind, despite being linked with Harry Redknapp's QPR.
Mata is held in high regard by Chelsea fans from his days at Stamford Bridge, and his show of respect for his former teammate is unlikely to change the view that he is a classy individual as well as a player.