Chelsea captain John Terry believes Leicester City's remarkable Premier League title triumph gives hope to "the smaller sides".
It was Chelsea's turn to claim the trophy 12 months ago and on Monday they again played a decisive role in the outcome, hitting back from 2-0 down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Tottenham, a result which meant Claudio Ranieri's Foxes were able to celebrate.
Terry said: "Congratulations to Leicester because they have been superb this year.
"It still hurts us losing the league after winning it last year. We weren't here to beat Tottenham and stop them doing it, it hurts us conceding it to Leicester but we will be back next year."
He added of former Chelsea boss Ranieri: "Ranieri has been different class. To do what they have done has been unbelievable and given hope to the smaller sides.
"He's a great manager and a great person. All season long they have kept churning out results."
In denying London rivals Spurs, Chelsea produced a performance of rare intensity and desire in what has been an underwhelming season.
Referee Mark Clattenburg issued 12 yellow cards as the game threatened to boil over on numerous occasions, but Terry insisted there should be no repercussions.
"Players are fighting for league titles, it's emotions," said Terry.
"It boiled over [but] let's not get silly and start banning people, it's a London derby and the fans want to see it."