John Terry – Captain Courageous
John Terry has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the very top of the game since establishing himself at Chelsea just five years ago. Online profiles the inspirational captain of Chelsea and England.
Courage, guts, bravery, height, weight, physical strength. All these qualities and more are the raw essentials for any footballer with ambitions to play at the heart of any club’s defence in the English Premier League.
One season’s challenge is not only the number of games — Chelsea played 63 last season in the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup – but also a powerful, pacy style of football which guarantees a relentless test of every technical and mental attribute.
Any footballer who can stand tall, literally and metaphorically, under such pressure earns a right of passage towards the pinnacle of the game as represented by responsibility and honours with both club and country. That has been the experience of John Terry whose career graph has been an ascendant one ever since he made his senior competitive debut for Chelsea in October 1998. Next came a regular first-team place in 2001-2002 and then the club captaincy in 2004 under Jose Mourinho together with an unquestioned starting role for England at the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals and now the captaincy of his country.
England coach Steve McClaren provided a ringing endorsement of Terry’s qualities as both player and inspirational leader when he invited him to take the armband from California-bound David Beckham. McClaren, new in his own job, said: “I am convinced he will prove to be one of the best captains England have ever had. John has all the attributes an international captain needs – leadership, authority, courage, ability, tactical awareness and a total refusal to accept second-best. He has been an inspiration for Chelsea and is at his best in adversity. Over the five years I’ve been involved with the England coaching set-up, I’ve seen first¬hand the respect that John has among his fellow players.”
Terry responded: “It is the ultimate honour to be the captain of your country and an incredible challenge. I want to win things for our country. We’ve got the most passionate fans in the world and we’re passionate people. The players are passionate about winning and that’s certainly something we want to bring to the team.”
But if captaining one’s country is a “pinnacle” honour then it is also merely a career stage. Any player with ambition wants to go on to play at, and compete to win, the most prestigious international prizes. And that means the FIFA World Cup” and the European Championship.