Jose Mourinho tells John Terry “he’s not safe”

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If John Terry thinks he’s got a free ride with Jose Mourinho at the helm, he’s got another thing coming to him.

The Portuguese manager made things crystal clear for the Chelsea captain on Friday, informing him that he’s not safe.

After acknowledging the history and friendship between Terry and himself, Mourinho informed reporters in Kuala Lumpur that “John’s not safe and he knows he’s not safe. The only thing he knows is safe is our friendship.”

Who Mourinho will deploy as his starting center-backs is one of the many issues ‘The Special One’ must sort out before the 2013-14 Premier League season kicks-off. Terry has long been a mainstay in that role but last year injuries and signs of aging derailed the 32 year old’s season.

Former Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez preferred a partnership of Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz. Conventional wisdom suggests Mourinho will likely go the same way. Ivanovic remains one of the toughest and most well-rounded defenders in the Premier League whereas Luiz’ astonishing 2012-13 campaign has some critics considering him the best young center-back in the game.

There may be some wiggle room for Terry, however, as both Ivanovic and Luiz can make impacts at other positions on the field. Ivanovic is more than capable of playing as a right-back although his somewhat underwhelming speed can be a concern. Luiz, on the other hand, fancies himself a holding midfielder and whereas he’s proven himself dangerous going forward, he tends to loose himself on the pitch when afforded too much freedom.

Then there’s Gary Cahill, whose talent has yet to fully develop with consistency remaining an issue. Terry is arguably the more impactful defender but given his lingering injury issues, Mourinho may find Cahill to be less of a liability.

One way or another, Chelsea are in so many competitions that Terry will see decent time. But as a starter in big matches? I don’t see it happening.

Which is why Mourinho made clear that: “Professionally, no one is safe. We spoke about it and he understands. We say in Portugal, ‘Friends are friends, but business is business’.”

Gotta love Mourinho, a man after Jay-Z’s heart.

Ronaldo explains his new chin hair at World Cup

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.

Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:

“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.

“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”

Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.

Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 8 — Argentina on the edge; France aims for berth

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France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.

That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.

Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group C
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group D
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE