Kalidou Koulibaly called John Terry to ask if he could wear number 26

Chelsea legend John Terry gives new boy Kalidou Koulibaly his blessing to wear his iconic No 26 shirt after the Senegalese star rang the club’s former captain to ask for permission after sealing £34m move

  • Kalidou Koulibaly joined Chelsea in a £34million deal from Napoli this summer
  • The Senegal international called John Terry to ask if he could wear the No 26
  • The former Blues captain gave the defender his blessing in a touching phone call

Footage has emerged of Chelsea new boy Kalidou Koulibaly calling John Terry to ask for his blessing to wear his iconic No 26 shirt for the Blues.

Koulibaly, who joined from Napoli last month in a deal worth £34million, wore the same number during his time in Naples and wished to retain the number having joined Chelsea. 

With the number holding such gravitas at Chelsea with Terry having worn it for his entire spell as a first team player at the club, Koulibaly deemed it necessary to call the former club captain to ask his permission to take it on.

Kalidou Koulibaly phoned John Terry to ask for his blessing to wear his iconic No 26 shirt

The Senegalese defender wore the number at Napoli and wished to continue in it at Chelsea

‘John I wanted to ask you something because like you know, I played with the 26 in Napoli and I see that, since you left the club, nobody has taken the 26,’ he said. 

He then queried: ‘I don’t know if you retired it or if nobody wants to take it, but I wanted to ask you if it’s possible to take it?’

Terry, who wore the number throughout his career supposedly so fans wouldn’t have to buy another shirt with his name on the back, responded by giving the defender his blessing.   

The former Chelsea captain donned the number for his entire first team career at the club

‘Listen, the 26 was very special to me,’ he said. ‘I really appreciate you calling and it’s no problem for me for you to take it, absolute pleasure.

‘I wish you well because I know how important the number was to me and I’ve obviously seen you wear 26 as well so, it’s my pleasure mate, I give you the 26.’

Thanking Terry, Koulibaly then added it would be a ‘heavy’ shirt for him to play in before the former England captain jested by saying ‘no pressure’ and encouraged him to go on and win trophies for the west London club. 

Meanwhile Jorginho, a former teammate of Koulibaly’s during their time together in Naples, said the defender will ‘realise the importance of the shirt number’ as well as revealing that the two stars previously joked about playing together again. 

Koulibaly has already put himself into the hearts and minds of fans by taking the number 

‘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.

‘We always said as a joke: “Let’s play together again, let’s play together again.” It never happened properly and when we saw that okay, maybe it’s not a joke anymore, we started to be more serious about it.

‘I pushed! I was like “come on, come to Chelsea.” And he was like “ah yeah I would like to.” I said “just come” because it has been a long time since we played together and shared a changing room or be together again.’

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