John Terry reveals he had to be pulled back from Rafael Benitez

John Terry reveals he had to be pulled back from a spat with Rafael Benitez at Chelsea as he told interim manager ‘maybe at Liverpool that’s accepted but not here’ after repeated arguments in training

  • John Terry and Rafael Benitez were at ‘loggerheads’ during their time together  
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John Terry has revealed that he had to be pulled away from Rafael Benitez following a dressing room spat during their time together at Chelsea. 

The Spaniard was surprisingly appointed as Chelsea’s interim manager back in November 2012, despite forging a big rivalry with the Blues when he was in the dugout at Liverpool.

Benitez struggled to win over Chelsea supporters due to his past connections, and he also struggled to build a relationship with Terry – who had long been one of the Blues’ most influential players.

Terry was regularly left on the bench by the Spaniard, including a 2-1 defeat to Man City in the FA Cup semi-final in 2013, with the Chelsea legend having a furious reaction to the loss following the game.

Appearing as guest on John Obi Mikel’s ‘Obi One Podcast’, Terry recalled the story after his former team-mate joked that the ex-England captain was ‘best friends’ with Benitez. 

John Terry has revealed how he had to be pulled away from Rafael Benitez in the dressing room following a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City during the Spaniard’s brief time in charge

Terry in his rant to Benitez said the defeat to Man City ‘might have been acceptable at Liverpool’ but at Chelsea ‘that’s not accepted’

Terry was regularly left as an unused substitute during Benitez’s six months in interim charge

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He said: ‘We played Man City in the FA Cup, and he wasn’t playing me, so we were at loggerheads, arguing on the training pitch.

‘He was leaving me out of the team, leaving me off the bench, but I insisted on travelling with the team. I was on the bench at Man City, and we lost 2-1. 

‘We came in after the game and he addressed the group and said “oh well guys, it doesn’t matter, we have another game at the weekend”.

‘At the time, you could feel Man City were doing something, and I’d just had enough. I said “Is that accepted? No chance. You’ve accepted us losing to Man City”.

‘I’m across the dressing room, all the lads are pulling me back, he’s now coming towards me, and I just said “that’s not accepted at Chelsea. Maybe at Liverpool losing a quarter-final is acceptable, but at Chelsea that’s not accepted”.’

Terry was an unused substitute in the semi-final loss to Man City in 2013, with Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri scoring for Man City, and Demba Ba netting one back for Chelsea. 

Benitez was unpopular among Chelsea fans thanks to the rivalry that his Liverpool side forged with them in the 2000s where they regularly played in European and domestic football.

The Spaniard’s Liverpool side knocked Chelsea out of two Champions League semi finals, including the famous clash in 2005 where Luis Garcia’s ‘ghost goal’ was enough to separate the two sides.

Chelsea did exact some revenge in Europe, knocking them out of the semi-finals in 2008, and the quarter-finals one year later.

The spat with Benitez came after Man City knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup semi-final

Benitez was unpopular among Chelsea fans due to their rivalry with Liverpool in the 2000s with the Spaniard twice knocking the Blues out of the Champions League semi-finals

Despite struggling to win over Chelsea fans, he did lead them to Europa League glory with a 2-1 victory over Benfica in the final – a match where Terry was not in the squad due to injury. 

Terry made just seven league appearances under Benitez, with nine games where he was left as an unused substitute. 

It is not the first time Terry has spoke out on his relationship with Benitez, previously revealing in 2020 that he failed to spark a connection with the Spaniard. 

He told Sky Sports: ‘The supporters never took to him and wanted him out from day one. You could say he was quite successful, we won the Europa League under him of course, but for me personally you want to develop and learn.

‘I’d seen tactically how he’d set up against us previously. You give everyone a fair chance and it’s down to them to prove to you otherwise, but we just didn’t get on from day one.’

Terry added: ‘Every meeting we had it was, “We used to do this at Liverpool”. I had to have a few conversations with him and say, “gaffer, you have to forget Liverpool, you can’t keep saying we this, we that, you’re at Chelsea now, it’s not going down well with the lads”.

‘I was injured when he arrived, and then I struggled to be fair. I was out for probably six weeks, but then I was working back towards fitness, I played in a couple of games, away at Fulham, scored two, he dropped me for the next game. It was all those little bits that added up.’


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