• Champions League

Terry 'owed' Champions League glory

ESPN staff
April 29, 2014
Jose Mourinho says John Terry will start against Atletico Madrid © PA Photos

Jose Mourinho says John Terry and Eden Hazard are fit to play for Chelsea against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg, and that the competition "owes" his captain.

The Portuguese also admitted that Petr Cech will not play, despite him being filmed training at Cobham on Tuesday.

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid - LIVE

  • Follow all the build-up, action and reaction from tonight's Champions League semi-final second leg with ESPN.co.uk - can Jose Mourinho finally lead Chelsea to a European final, and against his old club Real Madrid?
  • Champions League LIVE - Wednesday, beginning 7pm

Hazard picked up a hamstring injury in the quarter-final second leg against Paris Saint-Germain and has not played since, but Mourinho stated he is "ready" to start against Atletico.

"He is ready. It's my option to start or not, but he's ready," Mourinho said.

Terry limped off the first leg against the Spanish side and missed Sunday's 2-0 win at Liverpool, but Mourinho confirmed he will start.

Mourinho also stated that the Chelsea captain deserves some recompense from the Champions League, after missing the penalty that cost the club the 2008 final against Manchester United and then not featuring in the victorious 2012 final through suspension.

"Of course he starts tomorrow. Of course," he said. "My captain is playing at the same level he was playing when I left Chelsea in 2007, as simple as that. Seven years later, he's playing again at his best.

"At his best level. It's fair to say that. It's also fair to say that the people who surround him, the people who are playing on his left and right, in front of him, are also playing fantastically.

"His partnership with Cahill is fantastic and the people who work together in the same areas are doing a fantastic job. I'm really happy to see a player like him, six or seven years later, to be back to the same level.

"I think he deserves more than the Champions League has given him up to now. He lost a few semi-finals in special circumstances. He lost the final also in special circumstances. He won a final in special circumstances because he couldn't play. I think the Champions League owes him something.

Mourinho, meanwhile, denied that Cech would play. "Obviously his condition doesn't allow him to play, but the message from the group was that: everyone is and wants to do [well], but his condition obviously doesn't give him a chance."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close