Chelsea skipper John Terry says he has no desire to hang up the boots any time soon but wants to make the call to end his career before he gets “embarrassed”.
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Terry has been sublime for Chelsea this season as the Blues won their first title in five years following its 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The former England defender has signed a one-year extension into next season, two years after he was effectively written off by former manager Rafael Benitez.
However, the 34-year-old says he will end his professional career when he feels he cannot keep up with the pace and strength of Premier League football.
“There will come a point when enough’s enough but I’ll know when that is and I’ll be the first to say: ‘Listen, I can’t do this no more,’” Terry is quoted as saying in The Mirror.
“I know there will be a point when that’s it. The players are getting quicker and stronger. The ability out there is phenomenal.
“The last thing I want to do is go out there and get embarrassed every week. It will be for me to say and I’ll make sure I’m ahead of everyone else.
“It feels just as good, it really does. It’s been five years. It’s been too long, when you’re seeing other teams win it or when you go right to the end and miss out like we did last year. So to get over the line and get it with games remaining is really special, really.
“At times when you go close you think was that my last one and 2009-10 was my last one. It’s a long time to watch other teams do it.
“Man City came in and dominated for a couple of years as well. It’s hard to take when you’ve won it and then don’t win it for so long. So I’ll enjoy the moment and enjoy the day with the fans and the players and the family.”
Terry has won 16 trophies with Chelsea since making his debut in 1998 and has had a career renaissance under the guidance of Jose Mourinho over the past two seasons.
Mourinho is an avid fan of Terry’s and said the veteran’s performance in Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with title rivals Arsenal a fortnight ago was his best for the club during his Portuguese manager’s tenure.
Chelsea host Liverpool on Sunday in what is sure to be a party-like atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.