The defender, who has become synonymous with the club in his 19-year tenure, was substituted off after 26 minutes – the same number as his jersey – in the Blues 5-1 demolition of Sunderland on Sunday.
"I told you that it was very important to find the right solution to celebrate a great champion and a legend of the club," said Blues manager Antonio Conte.
"He deserved to start the game and then to have the substitution in the 26thminute He deserved this celebration because he wrote his Chelsea history. I wish him and his family the best in the future.
"For me and the club it will be a great loss because he helped me a lot on and off the pitch this season. Now we must respect his decision.
"I think this idea of my players (the guard of honour) was a great one, to recognise an important career and a legend of the club, one of the best defenders in the world. He deserved this."