Chelsea F.C. skipper John Terry could not resist a dig at his detractors after clinching his fourth Premier League winners’ medal as the Blues beat Crystal Palace 1-0 on a joyous Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
The 34-year-old central defensive rock, written off as a fading force before being re-united with Jose Mourinho, has played every minute of the 35 games required for Chelsea to clinch their first title since 2010.
“One person said I couldn’t play twice in a week, he knows who he is, but I not only proved him wrong but I proved everyone wrong,” Terry said when interviewed on the pitch, an apparent reference to former Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez.
“I’m still fighting, I’m still in the side. More importantly I’ve got great players and a great management around me.
“This is what I live for, I was a ball boy here, I was a mascot here, I’ve painted the stadium and done everything.”
“The first (title) was very special obviously but when you go four or five years without winning it and you’ve grafted all year, away trips away from the family and you get nothing for it, it really hurts,” the former England skipper added.
Terry bleeds Chelsea blue.
His towering headers, goal-saving tackles and crucial goals were a feature of Mourinho’s first two titles as Chelsea manager in 2004-05 and 05-06, and it is no surprise that those qualities have again been instrumental.
The special relationship between the pair has under-pinned Chelsea’s season, providing the League Cup and now the title after a trophy-less season last year.
Chelsea’s youthful side, many of whom had yet to taste Premier League glory, were guided masterfully on every step of their journey by Mourinho and Terry.
As leaders Chelsea turned for home on the back of a 5-3 drubbing by Tottenham Hotspur on Jan. 1 it has been their know-how and authority which has helped navigate the choppy waters that swallowed up some of their rivals.
It would have never crossed Mourinho’s mind to rotate Terry in and out of the side, as Benitez insisted on doing during his interim reign in 2012-13.
Terry has repaid that faith with some of the finest form of his career.