Antonio Conte has confirmed that John Terry will remain as Chelsea captain this season.
As Sky Sports reports, the 35-year-old came close to leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of last campaign, but signed a one-year extension in May to take on a “different role” at his boyhood club.
It is anticipated that the former England skipper will have reduced playing responsibilities this term, but Conte has said that Terry is still an “important player” and will be captain no matter what.
“John Terry signed a contract as a player, not as a different role,” Sky Sports quote Conte as saying.
“He is captain of this team, and a great player with a great personality and charisma. I like to speak with him because he knows the club and the right spirit to play in this club.
“For me he is an important player like the others. All the players know that I will see them in training to choose my starting 11. When a player deserves to [play], he will play.
“He is John Terry, he is the captain of Chelsea and, when he plays or when he doesn’t play, he is always the captain.
“All the decisions we take together as a club. I am very pleased that John signed a new deal. I spoke with him different times and for me it was the most important thing that John – he was very happy.”
Terry has captained Chelsea to four Premier League title victories. He has made 703 appearances for the club, which puts him third on the all-time list, and a whopping 570 of those have come as skipper.
He wore the armband for the first time in December 2001 – when he was only 21 – and was handed the captaincy on a full-time basis by Claudio Ranieri, prior to the start of the 2003-04 campaign.
Branislav Ivanovic deputised as Chelsea’s leader in Terry’s absence last season, and will be one of the players who could keep the veteran out of the team, alongside Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma.
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