Tuesday 25 July 2017

'I couldn't care less' - John Terry bites backs at critics of his theatrical Chelsea exit

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: Chelsea players form a guard of honour as John Terry of Chelsea leaves the pitch for the final time during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on May 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: Chelsea players form a guard of honour as John Terry of Chelsea leaves the pitch for the final time during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on May 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

John Terry has hit back at the critics who ridiculed his Chelsea send-off last Sunday, as he insisted he was fully entitled to crave the attention on his final day at the club.

Terry ended his 22-year association with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge by lifting the Premier League title for a fifth and final time, but his pre-planned departure from the game became the subject of heated post match discussion.

After it was agreed between Chelsea and their opponents Sunderland to kick the ball out of play after 26 minutes to allow Terry to leave the field, the veteran defender was then given a guard of honour by his team-mates as he handed over the captain’s armband to Gary Cahill.

The timing of the event - which was linked to Terry’s No.26 jersey - sparked questioned marks over whether the game been illegally halted, with the player lambasted after it emerged he came up with the idea to showcase his finale.

Yet he has told The Sun that he is not concerned by the criticism and accusations that Terry was indulging in attention seeking antics, after insisting he was entitled to lap up the acclaim at the end of his Chelsea career.

“I couldn’t care less, I promise you. I couldn’t care,” Terry told the newspaper as he reflected on the criticism of his departure.

“All I care about is celebrating with my Chelsea fans. Me and them have an unbelievable rapport and have had for 22 years and no-one, whatever you write or someone says or someone’s opinion, can ever get in the way of that.

“So if that’s the way I wanted to go out, that’s the way I go out.

“You know what, because I’ve been 22 years here, won so many trophies, if I wanted to play one minute and come off I would have done.

“I wanted to play 26 minutes and come off because of the shirt number.

“The supporters, as long as they are happy, I am over the moon with the reception I got. I promise you I couldn’t care a less.”

Terry may still have a role to play in one last game for Chelsea, even though he is set to start Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal on the bench.

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