Terry is a powerful, domineering centre-half who underlined his magnificent ability by winning the 1998/99 Chelsea Young Player of the Year award. Such has been his meteoric progress that he made his debut for Chelsea in a Worthingtons Cup tie against Aston Villa in the 1998/99 season and went on to appear in several games, even getting on the scoresheet. In 2000/01, he won Chelsea's Player of the Year award.
2001/02 was a big season for John Terry. On the pitch, it was a big success, as he established himself as a first team regular, making 49 appearances. He scored the winning goals in the FA Cup quarter and semi finals. He made a number of appearances for England Under-21s and was captain for a few games.
A successful 2002/03 season finished with plenty of speculation linking him with a move away from Chelsea and an England debut against Serbia and Montenegro in June 2003. Terry went from strength to strength during the 2003/04 season, being one of the Blues' only players to escape Claudio Ranieri's tinkering. Not only did he have a starring role in Chelsea's success that season, but he also helped England reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2004.
It was touch and go whether he would play at all when he picked up an injury during training. However, he recovered in time to knock Ledley King out of the starting line-up and ensure that England kept a clean sheet in their group game with Switzerland. Terry was rewarded for some fine performances by being made Chelsea skipper following the departure of Marcel Desailly in the 2003/04 season and has held the position ever since.
His ascent up the ranks of the Chelsea squad was confirmed last season as he inspired his team to Carling Cup and Barclays Premiership victory. Meanwhile, on the international front, he remained integral to the England set-up, helping his country build up a head of steam in Group 6 of the European World Cup Qualifiers. His fine season was capped off by being named PFA Player of the Year 2004/05, beating off competition from team-mates Frank Lampard and Petr Cech. Terry's incredible success on both international and domestic fronts inspired Mourinho to dub him "the best centre-back in the world".