Chelsea captain John Terry’s performances have surprised many, none more so than his manager Jose Mourinho, who conceded he thought the veteran centre-back was finished when he returned to Stamford Bridge two years ago.
Terry has been an ever-present at Chelsea since Mourinho’s return, playing every match as the London club cantered to the Premier League title this season.
But the 34-year-old’s achievements did not seem possible prior to Mourinho’s arrival, with former boss Rafael Benitez claiming the Englishman was not capable of playing twice in a week.
Terry has gone on to prove Benitez wrong and he has even surprised Mourinho, who gave the veteran a new contract in March.
“I think he knows that, without me, he probably wouldn’t be at Chelsea in this moment. Because, probably, with another manager he wouldn’t play. And without playing, he wouldn’t have another contract,” Mourinho said.
“This is not about the club, but the managers. If the managers don’t want the players, and the player doesn’t play, the club has to open the door.
“If a player is not important, sooner or later he leaves. Under me, he has had already two new contracts. But I also know that, probably without him, I wouldn’t be Premier League champion.
“Without him it would have been very difficult.”
Mourinho added: “I didn’t think Terry had this much to give. I thought he was over, I thought he was in trouble, because for the previous two years he hadn’t played two or three consecutive matches.
“He was not an option for the managers. He was injured. The managers preferred other players in front of him. I thought there was something wrong and that he couldn’t get back to his normal level.
“When I signed for Chelsea he had one more year of his contract and I wanted to respect that year and see what was going on.
“We spoke and he knew my nature: that I owed him a lot, but I’’ give him nothing he didn’t deserve. He knew that was my way of being a manager, and he was prepared already.”
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