Chelsea captain compared to one of the game’s greatest…
Oct 17, 2009 4:48:00 AM
Chelsea defensive lynchpin John Terry can play on into his late thirties, in similar fashion to AC Milan great Paolo Maldini, Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has claimed.
The Italian, who coached Maldini during his eight-season spell at AC Milan, now occupies the helm at Stamford Bridge, where he’s had the chance to work with England captain John Terry.
And almost four months into the job, Ancelotti has already drawn parallels between the two defenders, and has backed Terry to emulate the Maldini.
“He [Terry] can continue until he is 39 or 40 years old,” Ancelotti said at a press conference.
Terry, given his ongoing back problems that have affected him in previous seasons, might be unable to replicate Maldini’s playing longevity.
However, owing to medical science expert Bruno Demichelis’ work at Chelsea, Terry has gone through the first nine rounds of the season relatively unplagued by injury.
“He has no physical problems, and a lot of passion, those are the most important things that allow you to continue,” Ancelotti added.
“The careers of Maldini and Terry are very similar, not just in terms of their play but in terms of their professionalism,” he said.
Ancelotti attributed club loyalty and familiarity as reasons for the former Milan No.3’s outstretched career – another commonality Maldini and Terry share.
“Like Maldini at Milan, Terry was born in this club. Like Maldini, he came through the academy first and he has a very good feeling for this club, which is so important,” the Chelsea boss said.
Fitness advancements and dietary controls of recent years have made athletes realising outstretched careers possible, and Ancelotti noted the difference in present-day player longevity to his own generation’s.
“These days, with the preparation and the physical training we put in, and the work we have done on prevention [of injuries], the age players can play to will go up,” he said.
“When I played, 33 or 34 [was the end]. Now players can play at 36 or 37 without a problem.
“Maldini used his body very well. He was a very quick player, strong also but very quick. And I don’t see a big difference between him and John Terry.”
Daniel Phan, Goal.com