Chelsea captain John Terry has shared the story of how Jose Mourinho managed to fire him up for one more sustained assault on the Premier League on his return to Stamford Bridge, just as it looked like his career at the very highest level might be over.
Terry's future was very much in doubt when Mourinho decided to resume his love affair with Chelsea back in the summer of 2013, after a season under Rafael Benitez when the centre-back was a bit-part figure to put it politely.
The former England skipper would have been surplus to requirements if Benitez stayed on, but it was an ally in Mourinho who returned and used his unique powers of persuasion to get Terry's mind focused on the job of winning his place back.
Special relationship works wonders
The 34-year-old told The Sun it only took one phone call from Mourinho during that uncertain time to turn the tide, revealing: “He knows what buttons to press. He knows what makes me tick.
“And when he came back this time, I got that little phone call saying ‘I need you to hit the ground running. People have written you off’.”
Best defender in England on current form
Terry has been placed in a slightly unusual situation by Mourinho for the last two seasons, forced to continually prove his worth in search of a new contract thanks to Chelsea's policy of only offering senior players one-year deals.
The veteran has adapted to the situation brilliantly though, producing a string of remarkably consistent displays this season in particular.
While the likes of Vincent Kompany and Per Mertesacker have struggled at times Terry has led Chelsea almost with ease, remaining arguably the best central defender in the Premier League despite his advancing years.
Terry has done more than enough to prove he deserves to stay on next season, keeping Chelsea's long-term considerations over his replacement on the back-burner for another 12 months at least.
Chelsea fans, how impressed have you been by Terry since Mourinho returned? Can you imagine life at Stamford Bridge without a man who has now spent 20 years at the club? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
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