John Terry will be turning 36 in a little over a week, and as someone for whom that same age is scarily close as well, I can easily understand how he might feel he still has plenty to offer. We're just ready to hit our primes, right, JT?
Unfortunately, what may be true in real life isn't necessarily true in football, which is very much a young man's thing. Sure, modern medicine and fitness regimes can keep certain players playing well into their 30s, but they're the exception, rather than the norm, especially in the upper echelons of the professional game.
John Terry himself has become rather injury prone in recent months, and even minor knocks tend to keep the once indestructible England's Brave sidelined for longer than initially anticipated. After playing every single minute of every single Premier League game in 2014-15, he's spent almost as much time in recovery as on the pitch, even before he was dropped in favor of Cahill, David Luiz, and Apilicueta in Conte's 3-4-3 system.
It should be noted that many had written off JT back in 2013 as well, only for the Chelsea Captain, Leader, Legend to come back stronger than ever and lead the Blues to another title, but it certainly feels like the true end this time. Terry barely got a contract extension last season -- rumor has it that Conte had plenty to do with that reversal of course from Chelsea -- and while the captain still has plenty to offer as a dressing room leader, he's unlikely to play a major role on the pitch going forward.
Terry is obviously cognizant of this situation and his prospects, and, as we heard in his interview with William Gallas, he seems genuinely happy to take a background role as long as Chelsea are winning and leading the pack ... but he's also not quite ready to hang up his boots just yet.
"I still want to play for a couple more years, whether that is here at Chelsea or somewhere abroad, I don't know. It's an option. I am contracted to Chelsea for this season and then will see after that. I'm doing my coaching badges. I don't know if I want to be a coach but I want to do my badges and pass."
You might think there's little left in the game to motivate a man like John Terry, who's won just about all there is to win in English and European football -- in previous years he's talked about fighting for his family in similar situations -- but we should not underestimate JT's unrelenting desire to win another title.
"When I see other teams win it, it makes me feel angry, it makes me feel sick, you feel like you have let everyone down. I am where I am today because of that hunger. There were better players when I was younger but I wanted it more. It's still there today, at the age of 35. You miss that feeling of being the champion, being the best. Nothing can ever replace that."
"As a player, at the end of the season, when you see another team win it, I can't even watch it, it hurts. This is why I still want to carry on playing because that hunger is still there to be the best to win trophies for my football club. I have been at Chelsea for a long time and want to give the fans something to cheer about at the end of the season."
-John Terry; source: Evening Standard
Terry's a man of immense experience, commitment, and desire to compete at the highest level of professional football. Eventually, unfortunately, none of that will be enough. But for now, JT sounds determined to rage against the dying of the light.