Chelsea captain Terry makes personal tribute to Di Matteo
Chelsea captain Terry makes personal tribute to Di Matteo

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Chelsea captain Terry makes personal tribute to Di Matteo

Chelsea captain John Terry sent out a subtle tribute to former manager Roberto Di Matteo just hours before new boss Rafa Benitez's first game in charge against Manchester City on Sunday.

The defender, currently sidelined with a knee injury, abandoned his usual No.26 jersey and took to the field to run through a series of fitness drills with the Blues training staff wearing 16 instead - the number worn by Di Matteo during his four-year playing spell at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian was sacked by owner Roman Abramovich last week - the eighth coach to fall during the Russian's nine-year tenure -  after a run of two wins in eight games, despite leading the west London club to a FA Cup and Champions League double last season.

Abramovich quickly turned to former Liverpool boss Benitez to fill the void, much to the dissatisfaction of Chelsea supporters still reeling from the dismissal of Di Matteo.

However, despite his show of support for his former manager at the weekend, Terry insists the dressing room is fully behind Benitez regardless of his Merseyside connections.

"On Thursday, we welcomed Rafa Benitez as our first-team manager," he said in his match program notes. "All the players are looking forward to working with him."

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