The Blues’ title celebrations against Sunderland will be tinged with sadness as their ‘Captain. Leader. Legend’ says farewell before his summer departure to continue his playing career elsewhere.
Boss Conte was keeping his cards close to his chest about how involved Terry will be against the Black Cats. But he discussed the 36-year-old in the same breath as the likes of legendary compatriots Alessandro Del Piero, Francesco Totti and Paolo Maldini, who also served single clubs with huge success in his Italian homeland.
Conte’s first season in charge of Juventus coincided with Del Piero’s last after 19 years with the Serie A giants. He said: “It’s not easy to leave a club after a long time
“I was in another situation with Del Piero in my first season at Juventus, when he finished playing with them.
“When you are used to having a club in your life every day and when you start your day you have the club in your mind, it’s not easy to start to think about starting a new day with this situation finished.
“But I think it’s right, this situation, in his mind, mustn’t finish.
“Chelsea will always be his house. Now he wants to play regularly, so it’s right for him to go and play. Chelsea will always be his house.
“It’s very difficult to find a lot of players with this kind of career. John is a legend, a legend for this club. For the appearances, for the years he’s played for this club, and above all for his victories with this club.
“A lot of titles. It’s not easy to compare, but, for sure, Totti played for Roma all his career. The same as Del Piero, Maldini at Milan. I can tell you about these Italian players because I know them very well.
“But I think John is a champion and he deserves the best.”