Hall of Fame

Cahill: Terry was destined to be a captain

22 Apr 2024
Terry and Cahill

Gary Cahill says Chelsea legend and Hall of Fame inductee is one of the Premier League's greatest centre-backs

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Gary Cahill has hailed John Terry as one of the best ever Premier League defenders after Chelsea's legendary former captain was inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.

Terry has been chosen as one of three 2024 inductees, joining the home of the greats alongside Ashley Cole and Andrew Cole

Cahill played alongside Terry in two title-winning campaigns, forming a formidable centre-back partnership that helped Chelsea lift the Premier League Trophy in 2014/15 and 2016/17.

Cahill and Terry

"John Terry is one of the best centre-backs the Premier League has ever seen. For him to join the Hall of Fame is thoroughly deserved," says Cahill.

"The fans have recognised that and, in my opinion, rightly selected John. As soon as I saw he was up for the vote, I just thought it was a formality."

Terry captained Chelsea to five titles overall, the most by any player as a captain in the Premier League era. He is the only player to feature in all five of Chelsea's title-winning seasons.

He also has the most clean sheets and most goals of any defender in the competition's history.

But what exactly were the qualities that made Terry so good?

"He was brave and he read the game really well. He seems to sometimes get an ‘old school’ tag, but he was a very good and intelligent footballer. He could use his left foot and right foot equally well," says Cahill.

"One of the first things that stands out is his leadership, the way that he can take control of a group and drive players and drive standards in the club and in the team. He was destined to be a captain.

Terry and Cahill
John Terry hands his captain's armband to Gary Cahill during his final Chelsea appearance

"He’d take control of details - down to the food, down to the treatment - and try and get the players the best outcome, which is to win trophies, which he did many times.

"He was fully committed to wholehearted defending. That was the way he played, the way he trained. He wanted to win everything that he did. In training, he’d want to win the small-sided game, even wanted to win head tennis. 

"When I first started training with him, there were two things that stood out: how tidy he was with the ball, and how well he read the game.

"You never really see the best centre-backs getting exposed in many one-v-one situations because they read the game so well.

"I felt like I just had to worry about what I was doing knowing full well he's taking care of what he's doing.

"He was so established in his position, so experienced and so good. Sometimes you've had partnerships where you're not quite sure what your teammate is going to do, what position he’s going to be in. John made life a lot easier.

"John Terry epitomised what Chelsea was about. When I first got there you obviously had [Petr] Cech, Didier [Drogba], Lamps [Frank Lampard], Ashley Cole: these guys were the real spine and backbone of Chelsea at that time and they all had similar traits.

"They were really dedicated and worked extremely hard, whether that be staying after training or in the gym. They had that winner's mentality to win at all costs. They were all so hungry and determined to win trophies."

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