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Chelsea great John Terry names French pair as biggest career influences

Chelsea great John Terry says French pair Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf were key influences on his career.

Terry was inducted into the Premier League's Hall of Fame this week.

He told "You don't see it too often, one player staying at a club for so long, which enables you to achieve what I did. I first arrived at Chelsea at the age of 14 and it immediately felt like home.

"I've cleaned the stadium, I've cleaned the toilets, I've washed the kit, I've done pretty much everything. It was an incredible journey for me.

"I'm delighted we left a kind of legacy. I go back to Stamford Bridge now and bump into fans and they're very thankful for the memories that we created. Not only for them but for their parents, too. It can change and shape people's lives. You want to entertain people and, as ex-players, that's what we miss doing.

"There's an awful lot of things that I learnt. I had the likes of Dennis Wise, Gianfranco Zola and all these experienced players that I learnt from along the way.

"When I was on the pitch, first and foremost I was me. And I wanted to be that person who trained at his very best every single day, turned up early and was never late.

"If I gave everything for the shirt then I could demand that from everyone around me. If you're a captain who's not doing that, they can quite easily throw it back at you when you're not doing it. That's the foundation of what you need to do.

"Away from that, there's an awful lot of stuff that goes on off the pitch for players. Understanding the group and that not everyone is the same and everyone needs to be treated differently was one of my main assets.

"I could be firm on the likes of Frank [Lampard], Didi [Drogba], Petr [Cech] and those guys but with certain other players like Joe Cole, he probably needed to be told he was brilliant and needed a cuddle at times and stuff like that."

On his biggest playing influences, Terry said: "We had Marcel Desailly, who had just won the World Cup with France. Frank Leboeuf was part of that as well. For a 16-year-old, having those legends and people I had idolised around me was very important.

"There's not one bit of advice that they gave me, it was a daily constant of little snippets: what to do, when to do it, not to dive in too early, work on your quick feet before and after training, come to the gym and stretch after training, see if it helps you.

"Marcel is a great friend of mine and we still often speak today and I never let him forget what he did for me as a player.

"When I first came into the team, Dubes [Michael Duberry] had just broke through and cemented his place in the team. Seeing him develop and grow into that position was great for me. He had so much time for me as well, shaping me as a person and a player."

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Paul Vegas


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