Koulibaly explains nervous call regarding Chelsea’s iconic No.26

Koulibaly explains nervous call regarding Chelsea’s iconic No.26

Kalidou Koulibaly has opened up about the “nervous” conversation he had with Chelsea legend John Terry in which he asked to take the legend’s iconic No.26 at Stamford Bridge. Koulibaly revealed that Terry initially didn’t believe it was him and thought it to be a prank call.


The Senegalese defender wore the number at his previous club Napoli, and was quite uncertain about asking Chelsea’s ex-captain about taking the number.

What did Koulibaly say about the interaction?

“I was nervous a bit but I was really happy,” Koulibaly said. “He didn’t believe it was me at first. He put the phone down because he didn’t believe it was me.”

The centre-back also said ex-Chelsea player Gianfranco Zola helped field questions about the No.26 and connect him with Terry.

Why did Koulibaly join Chelsea?

Koulibaly, 31, has been a name long associated with a transfer to England, with several high profile clubs reportedly keeping tabs on him over the years. However, he revealed he has only ever been close to joining one club and that was Chelsea.

“It’s true that a long time the Premier League wanted me to come,” he said. “I believe in God, so I believe the moment was now.

“Before, no one was ready and Napoli didn’t want me to go.”

He revealed that in 2016 Antonio Conte attempted to sign him, saying: “I decided with my family and friends to come to Chelsea. Why Chelsea? I think they were the only club that really wanted me.

“In 2016, Conte really wanted me, I was always linked to Chelsea and this time, the timing was good. I came here and I am really happy.”

The defender has signed a four-year contract with the Blues.


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