By 90Min
October 28, 2019

On 28 October 1998, a fresh-faced John Terry was a late substitute for Chelsea in a League Cup tie against Aston Villa.

Over the next 19 years, Terry went on to establish himself as one of the finest centre backs the world has ever seen, etching his name into history with countless fantastic performances.

Here are eight of his best moments in a Chelsea shirt.


First Captaincy

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When he first broke through at Chelsea, Terry played and learned alongside club captain and World Cup winner Marcel Desailly. 


The homegrown star's first time with an armband of his own came in a Premier League game against Charlton Athletic in December 2001, and his performances earned him a role as Chelsea's vice-captain over the next few seasons.

Desailly's departure in 2004 saw Terry promoted to the full-time captain, and he led the Blues for 13 fantastic years.

He is by far the most successful captain in Chelsea history, so the first time he was given the captaincy seems like a fitting place to start this list.


Clattering Wayne Routledge

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Over the years, Terry established himself as one of the finest defenders in the history of English football. He made countless outstanding tackles, but one of his most famous came against Wayne Routledge in the 2004/05 campaign.

Then with Crystal Palace, Routledge found himself bursting down the left wing after skipping past Glen Johnson. Terry made the quick decision to come across to help.

Showing impressive agility, Terry got over and sent the ball flying into the stands. He absolutely clattered Routledge too, but that's not the point. 


Scoring the Winner Against Barcelona

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Chelsea met Barcelona in the round of 16 in the 2004/05 Champions League. They fell to a 2-1 loss in the first leg, and elimination at the hands of Ronaldinho, Xavi and co. looked inevitable.

When La Blaugrana came to Stamford Bridge for the second leg, the Blues raced into an early 3-0 lead, but two Ronaldinho goals had Chelsea on the brink of going out. They needed somebody to step up. Fortunately, that's what Terry did best.

The centre back rose to meet a corner and flicked the ball through a crowd and into the back of the net to give Chelsea a 5-4 win on aggregate. It was perhaps the most important goal he ever scored.


Winning His First Premier League Title/PFA Player of the Year

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The 2004/05 season was easily the finest of Terry's career. Forming an outstanding partnership with Ricardo Carvalho at the back, Terry ensured Chelsea conceded just 15 goals all season. Unsurprisingly, he picked up the Premier League title - the first of Terry's career.

The team reaped the rewards of their hard work, but for Terry, the glory continued. He was named as the PFA Player of the Year for his utterly astounding performances all season, becoming the first defender to win the award in over ten years.

He was later named in FIFA's World XI, proving his status as one of the finest centre-backs around.


Defying the Odds Against Napoli

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Fast-forward to the 2011/12 Champions League, and Chelsea met Napoli in the round of 16. They fell to a 3-1 loss in the first leg, and things went from bad to worse as Terry was ruled out for the return leg with a knee injury.

The captain actually needed surgery, so there was no chance he would make it back. However, that's not how it played out, as Terry risked his own body to return just two weeks later. He knew the team needed him, and there was nothing that would stop him answering their call.

Terry even got himself on the score sheet in the game, steering the Blues to the 4-1 win which they needed to advance.


Lifting the Champions League Trophy

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Had Terry not returned against Napoli, Chelsea may have crashed out of the competition. Fortunately, he came back and helped the Blues through, which allowed them to go on and win the whole thing.

It's a real shame that Terry himself did not actually play in the final, having been sent off in the semi-final against Barcelona. However, he did (infamously) 'suit up' to lift the trophy when all was said and done.

It was the least he deserved as, without him, Chelsea would almost certainly not have made it anywhere close to the final.


Proving Rafa Benítez Wrong

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Just months after that Champions League triumph, manager Roberto Di Matteo was replaced by Rafa Benítez, and the Spaniard was never too convinced by Terry. Benítez feared that an ageing Terry was not able to compete regularly at the highest level, so he took the bold decision of benching the veteran on a number of occasions. 


When the Spaniard left at the end of the campaign, José Mourinho returned and instantly restored Terry to the starting lineup where he belonged. 

Terry played every game of the 2013/14 campaign and produced arguably some of the best football of his career. He led Chelsea to yet another Premier League title, proving that he still had life in him yet.


Becoming the Highest Scoring Defender in Premier League History

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One of the most underrated parts about Terry's game was his goalscoring. Whether in the air or with the ball at his feet, the Englishman knew how to find the back of the net.

On 29 April 2015, Terry scored his 38th Premier League goal in a 3-1 win over Leicester City, moving him level with David Unsworth as the division's highest-scoring defender ever. It was just a matter of time before he made the record his own.

Just over a week later, and he did exactly that as he headed home just five minutes into a 1-1 draw with Liverpool. He had dominated both ends of the field for his entire career, and this felt like a fair reward.


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!

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