A week ago, after John Terry had gone off early injured in Chelsea FC's 0-0 draw at Club Atlético de Madrid, José Mourinho ruled his captain out of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg.
It was a different story on Tuesday as Terry trained and Mourinho confirmed his place in the team. "Firstly, I wouldn't put the team at any risk," Terry said. "I have to be honest with the manager. He asked me a couple of days ago if I was OK, and I said yeah. I wouldn't play at 60% or 70%. I'm fully fit and totally OK.
"Things started turning on Thursday late. It doesn't just happen: it's a lot of work from the medical side, people coming round my house late at night, as well as at the training ground. A lot of hard work from them as well."
For Terry, the UEFA Champions League final has a special significance. Not only have the Blues suffered several last-four near-misses, but in the two finals Chelsea have made, Terry missed a potential winning penalty against Manchester United FC in 2008 and four years later was suspended versus FC Bayern München.
Indeed, Terry kept his shirt from the 2008 final in Moscow. "For a long time I used it as motivation," he said. "When we won it [in 2012] I took it down and it went into the loft and another one replaced it. Disappointing memories, but when you go on to win it, happy memories tend to outweigh those.
"[Despite being suspended in 2012] it did mean a lot to me that night, playing or not playing. I felt I contributed. That's a different story. Throughout that campaign, I'd had surgery on my knee before the Napoli game and came back really quickly, scored a goal and played a big part. I did have a big part to play in the dressing room and on the field of play as well."
Mourinho left Chelsea at the start of 2007/08 and is aiming to reach his first final with the club with who he today said he hopes to manage "forever". Terry, who himself is hoping to extend his stay at the club where he has spent his entire senior career, said of his manager: "I could sit here all day and listen to him when he's speaking. The respect he has throughout the whole group at the training ground, he demands and gets because of his knowledge and the work he puts into training sessions.
"He's the first one there in the morning and the last one to go often. That's noticed by the players. We love him to bits. We realise he's been very successful for a reason: he demands 100% from his players every day. If you're not giving that, he'll be honest and let you know. That's him. We accept that and love him to bits. We enjoy working with him."
Especially if they reach the final together. "It seems to be year after year that the desire within the squad is exceptional, something built within the squad. Look at long-serving players like Petr [Čech], Ash [Cole], Lamps [Frank Lampard]... it means the world to us all. When the new players come in, it's important they see we train hard every day. That resolve and determination comes from the manager and from the players, what we demand from ourselves on a daily basis. Reaching another final would, in itself, be another great achievement."
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