John Terry believes Chelsea’s first Premier League title win in five years is just the start of a new era of trophy gathering at Stamford Bridge.
Blues captain Terry will on May 24 lift the Premier League trophy for a fourth time and first since 2009/10 after Sunday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace gave Jose Mourinho’s men an unassailable lead with three games to spare.
Terry has been an integral member of Chelsea’s squad for more than a decade and has played every minute of all 35 of the Premier League matches this season.
The 34-year-old, who has already signed a new contract until the end of next season, is optimistic the current squad can replicate the achievements of Mourinho’s first squad, which won the 2004/05 Premier League and stayed together for much of the next decade, culminating in the 2012 Champions League win.
“This is the start of a new group, a new era and for sure this current group are going to go on to win many more trophies for the club,” Terry said.
“This is a tough trophy to win. It’s been five years since we won it. It will take a few days to sink in.
“It’s been a long time. We’ve been great this season, fully deserve it. Absolutely delighted to get it.”
Terry has 14 major trophies with Chelsea.
He added: “Still going, hopefully there’s many more to come as well. With the squad we’ve got, who knows? We’ve showed great strength and character this year to come and do it.”
He reserved special praise for the tactical nous of Mourinho, who now has three Premier League titles after switching to a more pragmatic approach as the title drew near.
“He’s been brilliant,” Terry said. “He deserves a lot more respect as well. We’ve been top since day one. It’s a big feat to do that. We’ve done it right from the start.
“He deserves an awful lot of credit and his team around him. Teams come here and make it difficult, sit behind the ball.
“He finds a way to break them down. That’s why he’s the best. We love working with him.”
Mourinho, for his part, has dismissed the prospect of matching Alex Ferguson’s haul of 13 Premier League titles as “impossible”.
Ferguson was 51 when he steered Manchester United to the inaugural Premier League title in 1992/93. Mourinho is 52 and has this season’s trophy to go along with the 2004/05 and 2005/06 wins from his first spell.
“I have a long way to go, but Sir Alex left the bar in an impossible position for anyone. I cannot win 13 Premier Leagues,” Mourinho told BT Sport,
“I can win 13 championships. I can. I have eight, I think I can go to 13. But 13 Premier Leagues, no, no chance.”
Mourinho needs four more championships to reach 13, after two wins with Porto in Portugal, two with Inter Milan in Italy, one with Real Madrid in Spain, plus his three with Chelsea.
Didier Drogba is another survivor from the Mourinho side which won Chelsea’s first championship in 50 years a decade ago.
The 37-year-old striker returned to Stamford Bridge last summer after two years away and could leave the Blues again at the end of the season when his contract expires.
Terry’s central defensive partner Gary Cahill won the FA Cup and European Cup within six months of moving to Stamford Bridge from Bolton in January 2012. But he has had to wait a further three years for the coveted Premier League.
Terry said of Cahill: “He’s won everything. He’s been brilliant since he arrived. I love playing alongside him.
“We’ve got a great partnership.”
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