Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Capital One Cup Third Round

Considering John Terry and what Thursday’s guilty verdict means

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What a terrible week this has been for John Terry – not that he doesn’t bear responsibility in all this.

His England career ended earlier this week. (Earlier than some prominent voices feel like it should have, but I suppose such sentiments amount to putting ketchup back in the bottle at this point.)

And now this:

The Football Association’s disciplinary committee has found Terry guilty of using abusive, racially charged language towards QPR’s Anton Ferdinand last October.

Terry (a.k.a. the most polarizing figure in England’s game over the last few years) must pay about $350,000 and serve a four-game ban.

As for how this affects Chelsea: The FA says punishment “is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr. Terry decide not to appeal.”

That time frame is 14 days. So Terry should be available for this weekend’s London derby against Arsenal, which is Saturday’s early EPL game, set for the Emirates Stadium in north London. Neither team has a loss through five rounds of EPL play, so find a good seat for his one.

Few outside West London (where Chelsea is based) are likely to bemoan the Terry verdict and his week of woe. After all, he’s not always been the best boy.

This is probably not the best day for England manager Roy Hodgson, either, considering his enduring support for the Three Lions former captain.

Finally, if you have time for that second (or third) cup of coffee this morning – a few extra minutes to spare, that is – you might be interested in how the latest news is evidence that England “will have no chance at winning at major footballing tournament” so long as the UK tabloids continue to “destabilize the national team before every” international event.

Curiously, that sentiment comes from a prominent sporty information provider based not abroad, but here in the United States.

So, after all that … it’s the media’s fault that Terry is such a flawed figure? We’ll have to think about that one.

Cisse arrested in sex tape investigation

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Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.

The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.

[ MORE: Klinsmann sends Johnson home ]

Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.

According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT future ]

Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.

Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?