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Conte: Terry will remain captain

By July 14, 2016No Comments

Antonio Conte will continue with John Terry as Chelsea captain, whether or not the defender plays.

The 35-year-old defender signed a one-year contract extension – his third such deal – in May, having in January declared his expectation that he would leave this summer.

Terry, who has made more than 700 appearances for the Blues, has been reassured his considerable influence is valued.

“Yes, John Terry is the captain of Chelsea when he plays, when he doesn’t play. You are always the captain,” Conte said as he was unveiled as Chelsea head coach at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

“He’s captain of this team, he’s a great player, with a great personality, with great charisma.

Conte: Terry will remain captain PLZ Soccer

“I like to speak to him because he knows the club, the right spirit to play in this club and for me he’s an important player.

“When a player deserves to play, with me, (they) play.”

Former Italy boss Conte, speaking English well, expressed his pride and excitement at what awaits with Chelsea.

He also acknowledged the challenge ahead at a club which won the 2014-15 Premier League title, but finished a lowly 10th last term.

‘I was born with pressure’

“The pressure for me is not important,” Conte added.

“I was born with pressure. It’s normal.

“When you are a player, a footballer, or a manager of a great club like Chelsea you must play to win the title or to fight at the end to compete with the other teams, to win the title, to reach your targets.

“I know this league is very, very difficult, because there are six, seven teams that can win the title.

“We know that this year it won’t be easy for us because if we think the last season 10th position, last season was a bad season. We know. Me, the players, the club.

Conte: Terry will remain captain PLZ Soccer

“But I think we must think to the present, to work very hard every day, every week, every month, to build something important for the club.

“The fans need to find a team ready to fight until the end to compete with the other teams.

“There is only one team to win the title, but we must stay there till the end of the season.

“Chelsea belongs to Champions League and we must stay there.”

‘I like to work, work, work’

Conte was speaking in the Harris Suite at Stamford Bridge after his second day of training with Chelsea’s first team squad and 12 days after Italy exited Euro 2016 on penalties against Germany.

“In these two days I saw the players with the right attitude, with the right behaviour, with a great will to fight for this shirt, to fight to go back very soon to compete for the best position, to compete to win the title,” Conte added.

“The best important message is that I’m a worker. I like to work. I know only this road, to win.

Conte: Terry will remain captain PLZ Soccer

“I know only this: work, work and work. I’m very happy because I found a right attitude in Cobham (Chelsea’s Surrey training base).”

Conte, who won three Serie A titles with Juventus, wanted to return to club football “to breathe the grass, to stay with my players, to improve them”.

He added: “I have passion and I want to transfer my passion to my players, also to my fans. I suffer during the game and I want my players to see this.”

Conte joins Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger, Mauricio Pochettino and Claudio Ranieri as a Premier League boss.

‘I will speak to Ranieri’

He said: “I’m very happy to compete with them, but in this tournament it’s not a challenge between managers, between great teams, between great players, this is the most important things.”

He plans to call former Chelsea boss Ranieri, who led Leicester to a surprise title success last term.

“I will call Claudio Ranieri, first and foremost because he’s a lovely man, and I will ask him a bit of advice,” he said.

As for the team’s formation, Conte did not reveal his plans, but used a tailor metaphor.

“You must build the best dress for the team and respect their characteristics,” he added.

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