John Terry insists he has no intention of retiring when he completes the toughest decision of his life by leaving Chelsea at the end of the season.
Terry revealed this week that he will bring down the curtain on his glittering 19-year Chelsea career once the current campaign is over.
The 36-year-old’s decision sparked suggestions that he might hang up his boots after appearing in just five Premier League games this season.
But, writing on Instagram on Wednesday, the former England defender said: “It’s with overwhelming emotion that earlier this week the club and I announced this will be my last season as a Chelsea player.
“This has been the toughest decision of my life for me and my family, but I always envisaged leaving on the right terms, in the right way and at the right time – and that is now.
“I feel I still have regular football in me but understand that opportunities here at Chelsea will be limited. It is therefore time for a new challenge.”
Terry, who remains Chelsea’s club captain, has won 14 major honours and made 713 appearances since his first-team debut in 1998.
Yet, although Blues boss Antonio Conte uses three central defenders in his line-up, there has still been no sign of a recall for Terry since he recovered from an injury-plagued start since to the season.
With Terry reduced to the role of a cheerleader on the bench, Chelsea have climbed to the top of the Premier League.
Terry would love to bow out by helping Chelsea regain the title and he has so far made no mention of his next destination, with China or the United States potential options, as well as possibly staying in the Premier League with a team like Bournemouth or Stoke.
The former England international, who has made enough appearances to receiver another Premier League winners’ medal this term should Chelsea land the title, did reiterate his desire to return to Stamford Bridge in another role in the future.
“I look forward to returning to this great club in some capacity in the future,” he added.
“I want to stress that the journey is not yet over. There is a long way to go and we are committed to ending this campaign on a high.
“I am fully focused on helping the team and manager in every way I can until the end of the season.”