We are talking about a top man - Terry's influence was crucial to Chelsea success, says Conte
- Antonio Conte did not play John Terry all too often but still hailed the ex-captain's influence when he was Chelsea boss.
John Terry's professionalism was a huge help to Antonio Conte in his first season at Chelsea even as the Italian was easing the Blues legend out of the first-team picture.
Conte steered Chelsea to Premier League glory during his maiden campaign at Stamford Bridge, with Michy Batshuayi's late winner at West Brom sealing the triumph three years ago to the day on Tuesday.
It was the fifth and final top-flight title Terry won with Chelsea, though his playing time in the 2016-17 campaign was heavily diminished.
The former England captain made just six starts and nine total appearances in the Premier League, but Conte said Terry was vital for keeping standards high.
"It was a great privilege for me to be the coach of a Chelsea legend like John Terry," Conte told Sky Sports.
"We are talking about a top man, a really good man and then a top player. He helped me a lot in my first season in and out of the pitch.
"He was very important in the training ground, during the sessions to keep the concentration standards high."
Terry's last game, a 5-1 hammering of Sunderland, saw him substituted after 26 minutes – a nod to his shirt number – to a rousing reception from the home fans.
Conte explained: "He decided he wanted this because 26 was his squad number and for me it was a pleasure to give him this opportunity.
"I will never be able to thank him enough. He was very important for me and our team."