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For the first time, John Terry has given his version of the time Jose Mourinho was smuggled into a Champions League game - admitting his Chelsea boss shocked the team by looking "a million dollars" when he emerged.
JT shared the crazy tale of how Mourinho cunningly got around a 2005 UEFA ban on Sky One's Redknapp's Home Fixture show.
"He was suspended for the Bayern Munich game, he's obviously not allowed in the stadium," he explained.
"The kit man had to bring him through all the security... and about halfway to the dressing room, he's banging on the top going: 'I can't breathe! Get me out! Get me out!'"
"So the kit man had to speed up and get him in. We're all thinking that the assistants, Mick McGiven or Andre Villas-Boas, are going to give a speech at half-time.
"All of a sudden, he just gets wheeled in in a skip - and out he pops.
"Still looking a million dollars! He still looks unbelievable - his hair has not moved or anything."
Mourinho finally confirmed the long-rumoured story last year, going into full detail of how one of the world's great managers ended up hidden in a sweaty laundry trolley.
He also backed up Terry's take that he was struggling for breath. "The UEFA guys were following and desperate to find me," Jose told beIN Sports in 2019. "So he [the kit man] closed the box and I couldn't breathe! When he opened the box I was dying! I am serious. I was claustrophobic, I promise!"
This was at a time when Mourinho was simply the suavest man in football, so it's no surprise to hear Terry say how immaculate his manager looked. But it is notable that not even his trusted captain Terry was in on the scheme.
Mourinho's surprise team talk worked a treat, as Chelsea improved on their 1-0 half-time lead to take a 4-2 victory in the quarter-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.
The media at the time reported on how the Blues "overcame the absence of their manager" to record the win. Little did they know.
The story was only leaked two years later, so clearly Jose had a firm grip on the dressing room as UEFA would surely have extended his ban had the plot been revealed at the time.
As it was, Chelsea got through the tie 6-5 on aggregate, although Luis Garcia's so-called ghost goal meant Liverpool knocked them out in the semi-finals.
You can't win them all - but at least Mourinho added to his Champions League legend by springing out of a laundry basket like some impossibly handsome jack-in-a-box, probably looking smarter than most men do on their wedding day. Cheers, Jose.
Redknapp's Home Fixture airs on Fridays at 10pm on Sky One and NOW TV
All imagery: PA Images
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