Footage has emerged showing Kalidou Koulibaly calling John Terry to ask for his blessing to wear the number 26 shirt at Chelsea this coming campaign.
Koulibaly, who joined from Napoli last month in a deal worth £34m, wore 26 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 don the shirt number from this season.
‘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 as fans wouldn’t have to buy another shirt with his name on the back, responded by giving the defender his blessing.
‘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.
‘I think Kalidou will realise the importance of the shirt number even more over time,’
‘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.’