London (AFP) – Five highs and lows of former England captain John Terry’s 19-year career at his beloved Chelsea after it was announced Monday he would be leaving at the end of the season:
Chelsea’s most successful skipper after being appointed in 2004 captained them a record 578 times and to four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and the 2012 Champions League. He was however suspended for the Munich final after being sent off in the second leg of the semi-final against Barcelona. He had a good understanding with the prickly “Special One” Jose Mourinho in particular. “When you say that John Terry was a fantastic captain for me you are right,” opined Mourinho about Terry’s impact during his first term in charge. Even this season after Terry played a peripheral role under Antonio Conte, his successor on the pitch Gary Cahill didn’t dare suggest he could replace him in the fans’ affections. “I never thought for one minute, or will ever think, that I’m replacing him. He is right at the top and whoever comes in after him is never going to achieve what he’s done at the club,” said Cahill.
Sweet and sour Champions League
For Terry, Europe’s most prestigious competition represented his sweetest and sourest moment. He missed the penalty in the shootout which would have given them the trophy over Manchester United in the 2008 final, instead seeing their rivals win their second under Alex Ferguson. However, he told The Daily Mail in 2015 somewhat surprisingly his greatest memory was “the 2012 Champions League final even though I didn’t play in it”. He still dressed in full Chelsea kit and once Didier Drogba slotted away the winning penalty in the shootout with Bayern Munich he joined in the celebrations and lifted the trophy.
Terry the marksman
Renowned for his defending Terry also came up with goals at the other end — 66 in his 713 appearances to make him unsurprisingly their highest ever scoring defender. For Terry, the one that stood out was his volley in the 2015 League Cup final win over London rivals Tottenham. “It’s just the occasion and it was my first goal in a major final as well. Obviously it was against our big rivals so it meant a little bit more,” said Terry.
Among many controversies in his career this attracted the most coverage and destroyed his friendship with fellow England central defender Rio Ferdinand. He faced allegations he racially abused Anton Ferdinand, Rio’s younger brother, while playing for Chelsea against Queens Park Rangers in 2011. After being stripped of the England captaincy, Terry was cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in a London court in July 2012. However, the matter did not end there and was to prove costly for the England national side as two weeks later he was charged by the Football Association — who had stripped him of the captaincy in February leading to then head coach Fabio Capello resigning in protest. He subsequently retired from England duty before the start of an FA hearing that rejected his claims, declaring there was “no credible basis for his defence” that he was repeating words Ferdinand uttered to him. They banned him for four games and fined him £220,000 ($276,000, 260,000 euros).
Post 9/11 abuse
Terry and three of his Chelsea team-mates were accused of drunkenly abusing Americans at a Heathrow Airport hotel hours after the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States which had left the passengers grounded. “We had a lot of Americans here and were simply trying to comfort them in their hour of need. Meanwhile these men were laughing and joking, taking off their clothes and abusing our guests,” a hotel manager told the Daily Telegraph at the time. The players were fined two weeks’ wages (around £130,000) and the money went to the relatives of the victims.
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