Former Blues team-mate Desailly has long been Terry's on-field mentor and feels Fabio's Capello decision to strip him of the armband - in the wake of the Vanessa Perroncel affair - will fail to curb his close friend's bid to lead England to glory.
He said: "I know losing the armband has hurt John a lot but you can say whatever you want - he is still the captain.
"He finds himself in a difficult position because this is a guy who is a natural leader. The way he behaves on the pitch, the way he is always there to help his team-mates, the way he leads by example - this is all something that just comes naturally to him.
"I know he is respected by all his team-mates so I just hope Fabio Capello allows him to still be a leader and not try to curb those natural instincts.
"But knowing John as I do, he will still do the same things. Some have the captaincy because they are older, some because they are well liked - but for me John is the real captain of this team."