John Terry has revealed even his own children “love” Lionel Messi as he insisted revenge was the last thing on his mind ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.
Terry’s five-year-old twins, Georgie and Summer, have their own Messi shirts to go alongside their Blues strips, with the Barca star having become almost as much of a hero to them as their own father.
They are too young to remember the 2009 Champions League semi-final, the last and arguably most controversial clash between the two clubs, after which Messi went on to cement his status as one of the greatest players of all time — if not the greatest.
So Terry is looking forward to them finally being able to see him pit his wits against the very best. “My kids love him,” he said. “It’s a pleasure because when you finish and you look back — and the guy’s still going to be going strong — you’ve tested yourself against the best.
And, quite clearly for me, he’s the best ever. He’s a great individual, a great person as well and a credit to the sport. “For me, he’s got everything. He is magical.”
Confirming his children had Messi replica shirts, Terry declared he wanted to show them he could do more than just be on the same field as the 24-year-old.
“It’s obviously nice to say, ‘We’ve done this, we’ve done that’, but it’s all about winning for me,” he said, insisting he wanted to emulate Messi by winning the Champions League. “We’ve not done that yet. That’s our aim, that’s our target.”
Blues won’t risk Terry vs Wigan
Shifting his focus to the domestic campaign, Terry admitted the busy schedule is taking a toll on the team. Chelsea, who played their Champions League quarter-final against Benfica on Wednesday, are scheduled to face Wigan tonight and Fullham on Monday. Admitting to tiredness, Terry said: “That’s just down to the busy schedule. We’ve got two games in three days, so it doesn’t get any easier.”
Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo ruled out Terry’s participation in tonight’s game because he doesn’t want the defender to do further damage to his cracked ribs.