Antonio Conte revealed why he sanctioned an extended deal for Chelsea stalwart John Terry after being confirmed as the club’s new manager last month.
Terry’s future at his only senior club was under scrutiny last season as the 38-year-old seemed to be on the outer under Jose Mourinho before he was sacked, with the Premier League side’s stalled efforts to offer the Chelsea great a new contract seemingly bringing his Stamford Bridge career to an end.
But Conte’s appointment – though delayed until the start of the new season once his duties with Italy at Euro 2016 came to an end – saw Terry handed a Chelsea lifeline and the Italian said the captain remained an important figure in the dressing room because he knew the importance of wearing the shirt.
“John has always played for this club. I think is in the history of this club. And it’s important for me that he can explain what means to play for this club, what means to wear this shirt, this badge. I think it’s important in the dressing room,” Conte said.
“I have spoken with him and, in the future, it’s important to have this relationship because he is the captain of our team.
“It’s important for him to transfer messages sometimes.
“I must say John is a good example during the training sessions. He has the right attitude and the right behaviour.”
And Conte said former England international Terry can play well into his 40s.
“I think a player must play when he feels able to,” Conte said.
“If he has the will to go every day to the training ground to work, to have the training session, stay with the team and go away many days from his wife and his children.
“If he feel this then I think it’s right to continue to play. I think this is John because I see that he has the will.”