Antonio Conte talks up John Terry importance

Conte talks up John Terry importance
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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte talks up the importance of John Terry during his side's title-winning season despite the skipper only making eight league appearances.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has talked up the role John Terry has played during his side's title-winning campaign.

The 36-year-old has made just eight Premier League appearances throughout the season, having lost his place in the side after Conte switched to a 3-4-3 formation in September.

Terry will bring an end to his 22-year Chelsea career this summer and could look for more regular first-team football elsewhere, but Conte insists that the five-time Premier League winner has been a major part of his side's title triumph even accounting for his lack of minutes.

"When you are at the end of your career, it's not easy to put yourself to one side and to think first about your team. He did this. For this reason, he's a great man before a great player. I saw every day a captain, a captain on and off the pitch. His thought was always first for the team, and then for him," Conte told reporters.

"He's a legend for this club and in this season he has been very important to win this title. He's still strong. In the moment I called him to play he showed this. When you arrive at this point of your career it's very important to feel yourself... if you still have desire.

"If you feel this, it's right to continue to play, to continue your career. John has all these characteristics. If you ask me if he has the characteristics to be a good manager in the future, then yes."

Terry is expected to make his 717th appearance for Chelsea when they host relegated Sunderland on the final day of the season.

Chelsea's John Terry during the Premier League match against Watford on May 15, 2017
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