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What next for John Terry?

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John Terry announced on Monday that he will be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season.

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The banner at Stamford Bridge which simply reads “captain, leader, legend” sums up Terry’s importance, and legacy, at the west London club.

Terry, 36, has won 14 major titles at Chelsea, 13 of them as captain, and the central defender has been one of the most consistent and talented defenders in world soccer over the past 15 years.

All good things must come to an end, though, and with Terry playing just five times in the Premier League this season and not used by Antonio Conte in Chelsea’s defeat at Manchester United on Sunday (Kurt Zouma was instead brought in when Marcos Alonso‘s illness caused a reshuffle) the writing has been on the wall for a while.

The timing of the announcement is a little bizarre, especially given that defeat to United which cut Chelsea’s lead atop the PL table to four points, and it makes you wonder if Terry is putting clubs on red alert for the summer so they can plan ahead to bring him in. Terry will still have a pivotal role in pushing Chelsea towards the PL title in the final weeks of the season, be it on the pitch or from the bench, but it’s obvious Conte believes it is best that the Englishman moves on.

Remember, it looked like Terry was leaving at the end of last season but he and the club eventually signed a one-year extension so he could play for a 19th season at Chelsea. That won’t happen again and the Chelsea legend will now move on to continue his playing career as he said he was “eager to carry on playing” and confirmed he’s looking at “new challenges” elsewhere. As a free agent he is a very attractive proposition, even if his wage demands will be over $100,000 per week.

He still has plenty to offer, with Terry playing in every single second of Chelsea’s 2014-15 title-winning season and although injuries hampered him last season he still made 33 appearances in all competitions.

Where next?

Major League Soccer seems like the front-runner for Terry with LA Galaxy, the new LAFC franchise, plus Portland Timbers, Atlanta United, NYCFC, Minnesota United and others all linked with a move for the legendary defender. There’s no doubting Terry’s quality and unlike most DP defenders he’d sell jerseys and surely have a big impact if he did head to North America’s top-flight. Maybe he could end up in Phoenix with his good pal Didier Drogba in the USL? Who knows…

His other options appear to be staying in the Premier League or heading to the Chinese Super League.

We hear this every time a Premier League veteran is linked with a move to the Chinese Super League but Terry has a young family and staying in England or heading to MLS would seem like the most preferable option for him on a personal level. In the PL plenty of clubs could do with Terry and it seems like he has at least another two years left in the tank.

His boyhood club West Ham United have been rumored to be interested in him, while West Brom had previously voiced an interest in Terry. Would he play for a top six club in the PL next season? Probably not. Yet the likes of Everton, West Brom or West Ham would give him the opportunity to prove he can play in the top-flight for another few seasons before maybe calling it quits or indeed heading to MLS or China for one final, final swansong.

At the moment imagining Terry in anything other than a Chelsea shirt seems bizarre. Even the old footage of him in a Nottingham Forest shirt while he was there on loan there in 1999 doesn’t look right.

Mr. Chelsea is moving on and Terry will have a huge number of offers on the table.

Champions League preview: Spurs host Leipzig, Valencia visits Atalanta

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Two more UEFA Champions League Round of 16 ties kickoff Wednesday, including one being labeled as the biggest in a club’s existence.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

That would be Serie A side Atalanta, which hosts Valencia at 3 p.m. at Gewiss Stadium.

Atalanta had played in two consecutive Europa Leagues, but this is their first move into the Champions League. To make the knockout rounds is exceptional, and club president Antonio Percassi is fired up.

“We must be honest, this is the most important game in the history of this club,” Percassi told Sky Sport Italia. “It doesn’t seem real. It’s exciting just thinking that tomorrow we’ll be in a Champions League Round of 16. It’s wonderful for our fans too. … This is going to be a unique experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.”

Atalanta finished second in its group to Manchester City, and is fourth in Serie A. Valencia won its group.

There’s a Premier League side in action on Wednesday, too, as Spurs begin life without Heung-Min Son.

Jose Mourinho spun a tale about how badly Tottenham will need its fans against RB Leipzig, comparing the home-field advantage to an emergency rescue crew of sorts.

Leipzig is led by Julian Nagelsmann, who was once referred to as “Baby Mourinho” by his players.

The 32-year-old was quick to distance himself from the story.

“Tomorrow it is Leipzig against Tottenham, not Mourinho v. Baby Mourinho,” he said. “I have great respect for Mourinho. He has won lots of titles with big clubs, the Champions League twice. He has made his mark on European football at some big European clubs. I think it his 59th knockout game in the CL and it is my first so there is obviously respect there.”

Liverpool’s Robertson not a fan of Atletico Madrid theatrics

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Liverpool fullback Andy Robertson was not impressed with Atletico Madrid’s display as his side fell 1-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Reds fell behind on a fourth-minute Saul Niguez goal and couldn’t get a shot on target despite 73 percent possession in Spain.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Atleti executed its plan to near-perfection, slowing restarts and taking advantage of counterattacking opportunities to assuage the constant pressure of Liverpool.

At times it was reminiscent of early-century Italian national team play, and both neutrals and Liverpool knew what they were in for once Atleti took the lead.

“We gave them the best possible start to get the fans behind them and then they can start falling over and things like that, trying to get under our skin a bit which I think we handled quite well to be honest,” Robertson told BT Sport. “We know we are better than (how they played). We put in a decent performance and we can be better than that. Luckily we have got a second leg to put it right.”

Given the performance and the reputation, you’d still fancy the Reds to “put it right” at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp thinks Atleti will feel plenty of pressure at Anfield, and he will certainly feel the officiating will be more to his liking.

Liverpool’s Klopp: ‘Our people will be ready’ for second leg at Anfield

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Jurgen Klopp didn’t have any issue with Diego Simeone’s defense-first Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Spanish side flummoxed Liverpool’s attack and the Reds didn’t manage a shot on target despite eight attempts and 73 percent possession at the Wanda Metropolitano.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

What Klopp didn’t appreciate was the referee’s work, though, implying that Polish official Szymon Marciniak was overwhelmed by the occasion. Marciniak has worked UCL matches for six seasons, twice overseeing quarterfinal ties.

Klopp was shown a yellow card in the second half, and the Liverpool boss felt Sadio Mane was harassed by Atleti. Klopp removed yellow-carrying Mane at halftime.

“He was targeted obviously,” Klopp said after the game. “The only thing they wanted was to make sure he got a yellow card. The score is 1-0, that’s all but you need to be really strong as a ref in this atmosphere. So many things happened, after 30 minutes already three players were on the ground. The first yellow card was a striker from us. I’m not sure they even got a yellow card, which is funny.”

Atleti’s Angel Correa was shown a yellow, while Klopp, Mane, and Joe Gomez were cautioned for Liverpool.

The Liverpool boss found himself laughing a few times, especially when he was asked about Simeone’s touchline personality.

Klopp said before the game that if the German was a four in intensity, then Simeone was a 12. Simeone followed suit by constantly urging the crowd to get behind the home side on Tuesday.

That didn’t bother Klopp, but he issued a public relations officer’s dream in reacting to it.

“Wow, wow,” he laughed. “That’s energy. I don’t think I have to do it that much (at Anfield). Our people will be ready. Welcome to Anfield. It’s not over yet.”

Klopp finished his remarks by saying of Jordan Henderson‘s removal from the game with a hamstring injury, “I hope it was a precaution, but I’m not 100 percent sure”

Haaland wins first leg after Borussia Dortmund-PSG comes to life late

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Erling Haaland scored twice in a mid-second half flurry as Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The hosts also got an assist from teenager Giovanni Reyna, who became the youngest American to appear in a Champions League match.

Haaland now has 39 goals in 29 appearances between Red Bull Salzburg and BVB, 11 of those for his new German employer.

Neymar scored off a Kylian Mbappe goal for PSG, who brings an away goal back to the Parc des Princes for a March 11 second leg.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Neymar had an early free kick, missing just wide of the far post.

Jadon Sancho troubled the keeper twice in the first half hour, first with a cross that Mats Hummels headed over goal. Then, Keylor Navas picked another Sancho offering out of the air.

Sancho kept serving, and Erling Haaland couldn’t turn a promising cross on target.

Dortmund walked into halftime with a scoreless match but a 7-2 edge in shot attempts. Neither of PSG’s shots were on target.

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Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre put in American teen Giovani Reyna in the 67th minute.

Two minutes later, it was 1-0 to the hosts through Haaland’s close-range goal.

Neymar replied from close range himself after a powerful, clever dribble from Kylian Mbappe led to a pass through the box.

But Haaland got his second in the 77th minute with a scorching shot that serves as the first senior assist of Reyna’s senior career with Dortmund (Watch it here).