When Kalidou Koulibaly phoned John Terry to ask for his shirt number, the Chelsea legend hung up on the Blues’ new signing.
The defender was keen to wear the No.26. shirt, having donned it during his time at Napoli, whom he left Chelsea for earlier in the summer.
But out of respect the £34m signing asked Terry if he minded, getting the legend’s number off another Stamford Bridge favourite in Gianfranco Zola.
It clearly caught Terry off guard.
“He gave me the number directly, and I called him,” he said at a Chelsea press conference.
“In the beginning, he didn’t believe it was me. He thought it was a joke, so he put down the phone and called the team manager to ask if it was really me!
“After I asked him respectfully that I wanted to take his number – and I know it was for him a very important number – but it is an important number for me because I took it directly when I went to Napoli, and I wanted to keep it here at Chelsea. When he told me yes, I was really happy because I know what he did for the club, the supporters, and the city here.
“It was very important for me to ask him and he gave me his answer. I was happy, and I wanted to tell everybody that I asked him before because I don’t want to be disrespectful to a legend of the club.”
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“I think Kalidou will realise the importance of the shirt number even more over time,” he said.
“Also that he will bring with him respect for that number, showing respect and worth.”
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