John Terry thought Kalidou Koulibaly call was a prank when he asked for shirt number
'He believed it was a joke'
New Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly has revealed his attempt to ask John Terry for his old shirt number didn't initially go to plan, with the former club captain mistakenly believing it to be a prank call.
The Senegal international completed his switch to Stamford Bridge last month, bringing to a close his eight-year stint with Napoli.
Koulibaly wore the number 26 during his time with the Serie A club and wanted to stick with the number following his arrival in England. Terry also wore 26 throughout his Chelsea playing days, with nobody taking the number since he left the club five years ago.
Mindful of this, Koulibaly decided to call Terry to ask permission to take the shirt - posting a video of their conversation on his social media accounts earlier this week.
— Koulibaly Kalidou (@kkoulibaly26) August 1, 2022
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the new Premier League season, the 31-year-old admitted that he wasn't offered the 26 shirt when it became clear he was signing for Chelsea, but was told about Terry's association with the number when he asked more.
He later consulted Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola, who he knows from his time in Italy, who passed on Terry's phone number.
At first, his attempts to speak to Terry didn't go as planned, with the former England captain believing it was a hoax call.
"At the beginning he didn't believe that it was me," Koulibaly said. "He believed that it was a joke so he put down that phone and called the team manager to ask if it was really me."
After verifying that it was indeed Koulibaly, Terry gave his blessing.
"I know for him it's an important number. It's also an important number for me because I took it directly when I arrived at Napoli and I wanted to keep it here at Chelsea."
Along with Koulibaly, Chelsea have also added Raheem Sterling to their ranks ahead of the new season. They are also believed to be pushing to sign Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.
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