Goal.com's Top 50 English Players: John Terry (50)

Goal.com are counting down England's greatest players of all time and at number 50 is current captain and Chelsea legend, all-action defender John Terry...
John TERRY
Born7/12/1980, London, England
England51 caps, 6 goals
ClubsChelsea, Nottingham Forest (loan)

Few would question John Terry's position as captain of England. Many will say there are better defenders and maybe even better leaders, but there is something so quintessentially English about him: from his name to his playing style and his attitude - for better or worse - it's all a fit for the armband.

Yet it's been far from plain sailing since he took over as captain from David Beckham. Untellable levels of shame will justifiably forever hang over the head of Steve McClaren for failing to qualify for Euro 2008, but some of that, rightfully or not, will always be shared by the skipper.

After McClaren's dismissal and Fabio Capello's appointment, Terry saw off some rotation of the armband and stiff competition from Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand to retain his place as leader of his country, despite strong support for Rio in particular to take his place. He has done himself and his country proud ever since.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT

JT lifts his second Prem trophy
While he has never been the most technically skilled or complete defender, he has had the world class company of first Marcel Desailly, then Ricardo Carvalho and William Gallas for company at the back during his time with Chelsea. He rose through the ranks with the west London club and won the club's Player of the Year award, aged just 21, in his breakthrough season.

The action man was appointed club captain by Jose Mourinho upon his arrival at the club and Terry, 23 at the time, was a driving force behind successive Premier League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup and a string of strong showings without ultimate reward in the Champions League.

Without doubt backed by vast riches from owner Roman Abramovich, Terry led a side of so-called mercenaries to all these titles and it was characters like him - like Mourinho - that made the difference between that Chelsea side and the even more expensive Real Madrid Galacticos, who were at that very same time falling from grace in spectacular fashion.

Terry's significance for club hasn't quite transferred itself to country as he and England fans would have liked. The upcoming World Cup will serve as his chance to make his mark as a genuine legend for his country, as he has already done for his club, still just 28 years of age.

BEST USER COMMENT

"John Terry has been a true soldier for England and Chelsea. Despite moral setbacks like the moscow final and failure to qualify for euro 2008, JT has shown how a great character he is. There could be better defenders but few can dispute his true leadership and character. Long live soldiers like him" - Il Bomber | London
Comment Below
He has all the ingredients to make it happen. Certainly, from game to game, few can compete with the fearless nature of John Terry's defending. He is the aggressor: the one who forces the issue, takes control, flies in with tackles and towers in the air.

He makes mistakes (what defender doesn't?) but is readily forgiven by the fans for every tackle he makes that so many other defenders would never manage, or never dare to make. His ability to recover from even the greatest of falls is testament to an incredible character and he has the fitness to go at least as far as the 2014 World Cup for his country.

We are in an era were there are few world class centre-backs to behold - not even in Italy - and it is in fact England who have the best defensive talent to choose from out of all the top nations in world football, and it's Terry who leads that particular pack with Rio Ferdinand. That's no dumb luck - and Fabio Capello, if you believe what you hear, certainly isn't one to play favourites. Terry is where he is on merit.

He still is and will probably always be the man for a crunch situation. He has come through at key moments throughout his career both defending goals and scoring them, despite the almighty blunder that was the slip, the post, the missed penalty and the lost Champions League trophy on that rain-soaked pitch in Moscow. Maybe not the exception that proves the rule, but certainly something so unfortunate that it really could have happened to anyone.

That Champions League failure, that Euro 2008 humiliation - it all means that for all JT's achievements and elevated status in the modern game - both nationally and internationally - he is still a man seeking personal redemption, records to make and break and as a lot more silverware.

HONOURS

Premier League (2004-05, 2005-06)
FA Cup (2000, 2007)
League Cup (2005, 2007)
Community Shield (2005)

PFA Player of the Year (2004-05)
FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament (2006)
FIFPro World XI (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
UEFA Best Defender (2005, 2008)
UEFA Team of the Year (2005, 2007, 2008)
Chelsea Player of the Year (2001, 2006)

DID YOU KNOW ... That John Terry says Thierry Henry is the best player he has ever played against.

Sulmaan Ahmad, Goal.com