Ahead of returning to pre-season training, Nemanja Mati has been giving his thoughts on his Chelsea FC team-mates and is particularly reverent when speaking about skipper John Terry

The 34-year-old veteran has had a fantastic season with the Blues, playing every single minute of every single game in the Barclays Premier League in 2014-2015 and lifting the league trophy for a record-equalling fourth time as captain.

Terrya s enduring quality and his sheer presence on the pitch were vital to Chelseaa s title win, and Serbian team-mate Nemanja Mati has provided some insight on the centre-backa s style of leadership.

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Speaking in an exclusive interview with Englanda s Mail Online, Mati had high praise for his captain, saying, a John is our legend. Ia m not saying this because I play with him a he is the best defender in England in the last 20 years.

a If you have a leader like this and good players, results will come. If he sees something wrong on the pitch he always makes it right, but in a positive way and the young players like that.

a He doesna t actually speak that much in the dressing room, he only speaks when he needs to a and everybody listens.a

Whether Terry has in fact been the best centre-back in the Premier League era is up for debate, but he certainly was that last season a in a season where many expected him to start being phased out. Instead, the Englishmana s presence was vital not just for the teama s results, but also for the development of youngsters Andreas Christensen and in particular, Kurt Zouma.

The Bluesa captain has been helped immensely by the presence of Mati in front of the back four, and the two are vital cogs in a defensive unit that is arguably the strongest in the Premier League.

Chelsea FC are due to begin pre-season training in the coming week before flying out to their training base in Canada for the pre-season tour of North America, but Terry has a head-start on his Blues team-mates having reported to Cobham a few days early to begin preparations for the coming season.

@garyjcahill as? A video posted by John Terry (@johnterry.26) on Jul 8, 2015 at 1:21pm PDT

With that sort of commitment and hard work, Chelsea fans will be hopeful of a repeat of last seasona s performances from their captain.