MX23RW : Tuesday, March 26 01:05:46

Sven salutes Terry after former England captain retires

Sven salutes Terry after former England captain retires
© Reuters
Terry wore the armband at times under the Swede.

Sven-Goran Eriksson has praised John Terry as “one of the best” he ever worked with.

The defender announced his retirement aged 37 on Sunday after a successful career in which, as Chelsea captain, he won numerous major trophies and also became a crucial figure for England.

Eriksson handed Terry his international debut against Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and was so convinced by his qualities that he later broke up his long-term central defence of Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell to build a new one around Ferdinand and Terry.

The latter’s selection also came when Eriksson had the finest collection of defenders any England manager has ever had — Ledley King, Jamie Carragher and Jonathan Woodgate were further alternatives — and even with Italy’s Alessandro Nesta among the others he has coached, Terry still stands out.

“He’s absolutely one of the best central defenders I had,” the Swede, 70, told Press Association Sport. “(Like) Nesta, Ferdinand — great player.

“He has been a great, great football player, for Chelsea, for England, and he had a long and very good career. It’s interesting to see what he’s going to do — is he going to be a manager?

“(His application was) perfect. Hard-working, always doing exactly what you want him to do; good with other players, always performing. Fantastic.

“He was a leader; in that team with England I had many leaders, and he was one of them, for sure.”

Eriksson was so impressed by Terry’s leadership qualities that, at the 2006 World Cup, and on the occasions David Beckham was not playing, it was the defender who was handed the captain’s armband.

Press Association Sport understands he is in contention to join Aston Villa as a coach regardless of whether Thierry Henry is appointed as the Championship club’s new manger, and Eriksson believes his experience in working under Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and others means he is set up to succeed.

“I’m sure Terry can be (a manager) if he wants,” he added. “But that’s a big commitment — if he wants to do that, of course he can. He has been working under so many extremely good managers, so he’s learned a lot from everybody, and he’s a clever man, so he can do it for sure.”


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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