John Terry may enjoy an established reputation as one of English football's meanest defenders, but the Chelsea captain has revealed a softer side after admitting that the club's failure to secure last year's Premier League title reduced him to tears.
The enthralling race for top-flight supremacy went right to the wire in 2013/14. Jose Mourinho's side - a permanent fixture in the top four throughout the campaign - were sadly not in contention alongside eventual champions Manchester City and surprise package Liverpool on the final day thanks to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Sunderland.
Such a failure led to Mourinho going trophyless during his first season back in charge at Stamford Bridge and Terry admits that the manner in which Chelsea threw away their chance of a first title since 2010 proved deeply upsetting to him personally.
Reduced to tears
"I was in tears over the Premier League last year - over throwing that away and not winning that - behind closed doors," he was quoted by the Mirror.
"I’m never scared to show my emotions. And of course I’m driven by missing the Final in 2012 – it was the biggest night ever for the club and I didn’t play in it.
"Because it’s me, people look and say ‘He’s not won it’ and have their digs and their pops. But I know I played a huge part along the way."
Champions League redemption
Terry is of course referring there to Chelsea's one and only Champions League triumph, famously secured thanks to a tense penalty shootout victory over Bayern Munich on their own turf.
The ex-England skipper missed the match at the Allianz Arena after being dismissed for a foolish knee on Alexis Sanchez in the epic semi-final second leg tie against Barcelona and subsequently drew criticism - as well as spawning a long-running but increasingly tedious meme joke that sadly still runs to this day - for donning the full strip to lift the trophy despite not playing a single minute on the night.
That aforementioned triumph was a real milestone for Chelsea, whose owner - Roman Abramovich - had enjoyed their domestic success under Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti but was evidently desperate for them to taste victory in arguably the biggest club competition of them all.
For Terry, the win in 2012 carried extra significance as it allowed him to lay to rest the demons that will undoubtedly have haunted him since he slipped and subsequently crashed a spot-kick against the post during Chelsea's final defeat to English rivals Manchester United in Moscow four years prior.
A disappointing finish to last season does not seem to have any sort of adverse effect upon Chelsea's start to the current campaign.
The Blues have been in formidable form since their opening win over newly-promoted Burnley in August and have already opened up a three-point advantage over nearest challengers Southampton at the summit of the Premier League with summer signing Diego Costa in imperious form up front.
Mourinho's side - who beat Sporting Lisbon 1-0 at the Estadio Jose Alvalade earlier this week - host Arsenal in a London derby on Sunday.
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