Cape Town - John Terry's illustrious Chelsea career appears set to end on the sidelines after the captain was red carded in Saturday's loss to Sunderland and midfielder Nemanja Matic was one of the first of his teammates to pay tribute to the departing legend.
The 35-year-old Terry, whose current deal expires at the end of the season and has yet to be offered a new contract, will miss Chelsea's final two games of the campaign through suspension resulting from that dismissal.
Terry, who made his senior debut in 1998, is Chelsea's most successful captain, having led them to four league titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and one Champions League crown since 2004.
"We know what he has done for this club and what he has won. All of us in the team wish him all the best for the future and of course this is not a good way to finish in a club," Matic told British media.
"But we don't forget what he won and what he has already done."
Chelsea, who are ninth in the table, will bring an end to their woeful title defence after they first travel to face eighth-placed Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday before hosting champions Leicester City on Sunday.