John Terry, whose penalty miss cost Chelsea the chance of winning the Champions League final, said he will be “haunted forever” by the memory of that moment.
Terry said in an open letter to the fans published on the club's website he had been sleeping very badly and, at some level, was hoping it was all just a bad dream.
He slipped as he was about to take the spot kick, bringing out United's 6-5 penalty shoot-out victory in Moscow after the match had finished at 1-1 following extra time.
Had Terry converted, it would have been the winning penalty but then Manchester United keeper Edwin Van der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka to end Chelsea's dreams.
Addressing the club's fans, players and employees, Terry wrote: “I am so sorry for missing the penalty and denying you the fans, my teammates, family and friends the chance to become European champions.
“Many people have told me I don't need to say that but I feel I need to, that's just me. I have relived that moment every minute since it happened. I have only slept a few hours and wake up every time hoping its all been a bad dream.
“I have had some amazing support from fans, current and ex-players, family and friends and I need to thank everyone for that. But I am a big man and I take responsibility for us not winning.
“I am and always will be Chelsea through and through. I will give my all on and off the pitch to win this trophy as a player and one day as a manager. And I am sure we will win it.
“That night in Moscow will haunt me forever and I feel I have let everybody down and this hurts me more than anything. I am not ashamed about crying.
“This is a trophy I have tried so hard year after year to win and it was just an uncontrollable reaction, I wear my heart on my sleeve, everybody knows that.
“The road to Rome (where the 2009 final takes place) starts here, we have to try and turn this experience to our advantage. I am very proud of how far we have come this season with everything that has gone on. Thank you for all your support for the season.”
Terry's statement was released just hours after manager Avram Grant was sacked after less then a season in charge.
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