Messi hits 500th goal as Barcelona beats Real Madrid in El classico

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Lionel Messi struck his 500th Barcelona goal with the last kick of the game to blow the La Liga title race wide open with a thrilling 3-2 win at Real Madrid on Sunday.

Messi had broken a three-year goalless drought against Madrid to cancel out Casemiro’s opener for Madrid in the first-half.

Ivan Rakitic’s stunning strike and a red card for Madrid captain Sergio Ramos for chopping down Messi 13 minutes from time put Barca on course for victory before James Rodriguez came off the bench to level four minutes from time.

However, fittingly, Messi had the final say with a brilliant finish deep into stoppage time to lift Barcelona’s hopes of a third straight La Liga title.

Fresh from dumping Bayern Munich out the Champions League in a 4-2 thriller after extra-time in midweek, Madrid had started confidently in another breathless encounter at the Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo had strong appeals for a penalty waived away inside two minutes after he appeared to have been clipped by Samuel Umtiti.

Barca grew slowly into the game and had their first big chance when Luis Suarez dragged wide Jordi Alba’s fine cut-back from the edge of the box 11 minutes in.

Shortly after Messi was left floored and bloodied after being caught by a stray elbow from Marcelo.

The Argentine was still down by Ronaldo drilled another fine effort towards goal that Marc-Andre ter Stegen did well to parry to safety.

Unsurprisingly given both Madrid’s potency and Barca’s inability to defend set-pieces, the opener arrived from a dead ball.

Marcelo picked up the loose ball from a corner and when Sergio Ramos volleyed his cross against the post, Casemiro was on hand to tap into an unguarded net.

The lead lasted just five minutes, though, as with a handkerchief still mopping the blood from his cheek, Messi danced past Dani Carvajal and Nacho to fire home his first goal against Madrid for three years.

Ter Stegen was called into action again to prevent Real immediately retaking the lead as he flew to his left to save from Luka Modric’s long-range effort.

However, Barca ended the half feeling hard done by when referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez didn’t show Casemiro a second yellow card for upending Messi as he led a promising counter-attack.

Madrid were rampant at the start of the second period, but were met with a wall of resistence in Ter Stegen.

The German dived low to his left to turn international teammate Toni Kroos’s effort behind before diverting Karim Benzema’s goalbound header to safety with his outstretched foot.

However, Keylor Navas was also busy at the other end as he came to Madrid’s rescue on three occasions.

Firstly, he got a foot to Paco Alcacer’s prodded effort before pulling off acrobatic saves to deny Gerard Pique and Suarez.

Ronaldo then missed a guilt-edged chance to put Madrid back in front as he somehow turned the ball over from point-blank range after unselfish play from Asensio.

There was nothing Navas could do to deny Barca 17 minutes from time when Rakitic took aim from 25 yards and drilled into the top corner.

The match seemed to have swung decisively in Barca’s favour four minutes later when Ramos scythed down Messi to be shown the 22nd red card of his career.

However, even with 10 men, Madrid rallied and levelled when substitute James Rodriguez swept home Marcelo’s cross four minutes from time.

There was still time for one huge twist in the title race, though, as Sergi Roberto’s lung-bursting run led a Barca counter-attack to feed Jordi Alba and his cross was smashed into the corner by Messi.

AFP

REAL ATTEMPTS TO SEAL LEAGUE TITLE AS BARCELONA COME VISITING IN EL CLASICO

By Toyin Akiode

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Real Madrid can take a leap toward securing this season’s La Liga title when they play host to Barcelona in the second of this season’s El Clasico meetings on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Los Blancos lead second-placed Barca by three points with a game in hand heading into Sunday’s showdown, where victory for the hosts could see the crown’s destination decided considering only a few games remain in the season.

After exiting the UEFA Champions League in midweek following a 0-0 stalemate at home to Juventus—completing a 3-0 aggregate defeat in the quarter-final clash—Barca will be motivated to resurrect their league chances.

Could he become the special one?

Meanwhile, manager Zinedine Zidane’s side can advance their prospects of a double this season, having progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League following their 6-3 aggregate hammering of Bayern Munich in the last eight.

No matter the circumstances, an El Clasico collision never fails to entertain, and you can find all the necessary viewing information, complete with a match preview.

No Neymar, No Hope?

His absence could tell for Barca!

Unfortunately for Barcelona’s chances of stealing a win in the Spanish capital this Sunday, Brazil maestro Neymar doesn’t look as though he’ll be available to feature for the visitors.

Spanish daily Marca reported on Thursday that an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was his only hope of having his suspension overturned. Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic told Sky Sports‘ La Liga World he and his team-mates now wish to win the clash for their banned brother in arms:

I don’t think it needs repeating that he is an important player. That [Neymar’s suspension] is not good is so, but it is what it is. We need to understand the situation and push on.

In the past we have already shown that we can also win when Neymar isn’t playing. Of course, it would be much better to have him with us, because he is one of the two or three best players in the world.

We have a lot of confidence and we have a very strong team. We want to show Neymar that when he is not with us we can still do it, and hopefully we can take a victory for him.

The Croatian is right in that Sunday’s duel would be far less complicated with Neymar around. Unfortunately the South American is paying the price for the dissent he showed after being sent off against Real Sociedad earlier this month.

The league campaign is of particular importance for Neymar and team mates following Wednesday’s Champions League exit, where the forward was left distraught in the face of defeat, via BT Sport:

The Blaugrana are a much more threatening beast with Neymar in their lineup, and the Brazilian has at times outshone the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez this season.

It’s just Barca’s luck that while they’ll likely be without their wing wizard, Real’s Gareth Bale made his return to training on Thursday and could be rushed back from his calf injury in time for Sunday’s blockbuster per the Mirror’s James Whaling.

Although six games remain in their league campaign altogether, Barcelona will be under no illusions leading up to Sunday’s clash: lose at the Bernabeu, and their chances at the title will effectively be extinguished.

Former Real midfielder Ruben de la Red put the tense setting into words this week, taking special note of the fact Barca travel to the capital after a patch of streaky form, per Daniel Lopez Peinado of Marca:

By winning, Real Madrid can deliver a knockout blow in LaLiga, given that their lead would be practically insurmountable. Barcelona don’t come into this in their best form after exiting the Champions League and failing to score a single goal [against Juventus], so the players will have that on their mind.

Neymar’s absence [due to suspension] isn’t a decisive one, but it is an important one, as he has been one of the team’s best players.

De la Red also praised Zidane for leading Real to the semi-finals of the Champions League for a second season in succession, maintaining his 100 percent record in that regard after almost 18 months in the job.

Cristiano Ronaldo arose to power Real past Bayern with a hat-trick performance in midweek, and La Liga recently celebrated Ronaldo’s scoring exploits against Barca at the Camp Nou in December 2003:

Now there’s a newer talisman going by that mantle, but one no less influential as the Portuguese Ronaldo seeks revenge for Real’s last home league clash against Barca, when they were thumped 4-0 in November 2015.

Barcelona have scored four times in each of their last two league trips to the Bernabeu, but without Neymar, and manager Luis Enrique entering his last derby before leaving the Blaugrana, the guests will struggle to uphold that pattern.

Culled from Bleacher Report.

Ugo Ehiogu dead: Tottenham coach dies aged 44 after collapsing at training ground

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Ehiogu, who was the club’s under-23s coach, collapsed at Spurs’ training centre yesterday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

He received immediate treatment before being transferred to hospital, where he passed away in the early hours of this morning.

Tottenham announced his death at 9am, saying in a statement: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Ugo Ehiogu.”

He leaves behind wife Gemma and their one son.

Ehiogu, who played for Aston Villa and Middlesbrough and was capped by England on four occasions, joined Spurs as a coach in 2014.

Spurs’ head of coaching and player development John McDermott, said: “Words cannot express the sadness that we all feel at the club. Ugo’s immense presence will be irreplaceable.

Ugo Ehiogu has died aged 44

The Tottenham coach suffering a cardiac arrest at the club’s training ground

He started his coaching career in 2014

Ugo Ehiogu coached the Tottenham Under-23 side

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Gemma and his family.”

Spurs also added their thanks to the North Middlesex University Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital and Harefield Hospital.

Ehiogu began his career as a trainee at West Brom before he was taken to Villa by Ron Atkinson in 1991. He went on to feature in more than 300 matches for Villa and played in their FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea in 2000.

Ehiogu joined Middlesbrough for a then club-record £8million fee later that year, and in 2001 he scored his only goal for England in Sven Goran-Eriksson’s first game in charge, a 3-0 friendly victory against Spain.

Knee injuries plagued the final years of Ehiogu’s career at the Riverside Stadium.

He joined Leeds on loan in 2006, and also had short spells with Rangers and Sheffield United before he retired from football in 2009.

No more miracles as Barcelona crash out of the Champions League

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The trio failed to fly

BARCELONA FAILED TO produce another miraculous Champions League comeback as Juventus held out for a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou on Wednesday to reach the semi-finals 3-0 on aggregate.

The Spanish champions had overcome a 4-0 first leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 with a dramatic 6-1 win back on home soil.

But Juventus showed why they boast the best defensive record in the competition as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were blunted as the Italians gained revenge for their defeat in the 2015 Champions League final.

Juventus join holders Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Monaco in Friday’s semi-final draw.

Straight from kick-off the visitors seemed determined to learn from the French champions’ mistakes.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men pressed high to prevent Barca dominating possession and enjoyed the better of the early chances.

Former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain volleyed over from the edge of the area before only a brilliant challenge from Gerard Pique prevented Juan Cuadrado’s cross providing Higuain with a tap in.

Barca had to wait 19 minutes for their first clear sight of goal as they intricately worked the ball around a packed Juventus box before Messi fired inches wide.

Messi then Gianluigi Buffon’s palms for the first time on the half hour mark.

At the other end, Higuain threatened again when he just couldn’t get enough power on Miralem Pjanic’s dinked cross to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Neymar had been Barca’s hero in a remarkable finish with two goals and an assist in the final minutes against PSG.

Yet, he found it far harder up against friend and former Barca teammate Dani Alves and his frustrations at a perceived lack of protection from referee Bjorn Kuipers spilled over as he was booked just before half-time.

Juventus also had the first big chance of the second half as Cuadrado fired across Ter Stegen but wide of the far post.

Ter Stegen was then forced to turn behind another driven effort from the Colombian.

Messi was being forced to come deep in search of possession, but he briefly had Juventus hearts in mouths with a low effort that was deflected inches wide.

Barca boss Luis Enrique forlornly turned to Paco Alcacer from the bench as the hosts played with four forwards for the final half hour.

Messi had another big chance after a rare Buffon handling error from a corner, but unfortunately for Barca it fell on his right foot and the Argentine fired well over.

Sergi Roberto was Barca’s unlikely hero with the 95th minute goal that sealed the 6-1 win over PSG six weeks ago.

He nearly delivered another important and rare goal, but when the right-back’s effort flew inches wide 20 minutes from time so did Barcelona’s hopes.

Juventus comfortably saw out the final stages to register their eighth clean sheet in 10 Champions League games this season.

And the only negative news of the night for the Bianconeri was a yellow card for Sami Khedira that will rule the German international out of the first leg of their semi-final.

Serena Williams is pregnant (pic)

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Serena Williams, the best women’s tennis player of this era and one of the world’s most prominent athletes, confirmed on Wednesday that she was pregnant and expecting her first child later this year.

Williams, 35, has not played a match since winning her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open on Jan. 28, when she was already close to two months pregnant.

More major titles will have to wait, if they happen at all. Williams will turn 36 in September, but her spokeswoman Kelly Bush Novak said that while Williams would miss the rest of the 2017 season, she intended to return to the circuit in 2018.

“Serena said that I should make sure if anyone asks that that is clear,” Bush Novak said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

The announcement was the latest surprise from Williams, who unexpectedly announced her engagement to Alexis Ohanian, a businessman and the co-founder of Reddit, in December.

“I’m elated for her; I’ve seen her with our son, and she will be a great mother,” said Andy Roddick, a former men’s world No. 1 who is a good friend of Williams and has known her since childhood.

Chris Evert, the former No. 1, said she communicated with Williams via text on Wednesday. “Getting married and having a child is a special journey,” Evert said. “She, to me, is more than ready for this lifestyle change. It’s been 20 years on tour.”

Williams’s pregnancy was confirmed after a wild day of speculation that began when a photograph was posted on Williams’ Snapchat story, perhaps inadvertently, that showed her posing sideways in a yellow bathing suit with what looked like a baby bump. The image, which appeared to be taken in a mirror, was captioned “20 weeks” and later deleted.

Bush Novak said she had no information about Williams’s social-media accounts or why the image had been removed.

Williams is the second leading women’s tennis player to announce a pregnancy in the past year. Victoria Azarenka, a former No. 1 player and a two-time Grand Slam titlist, left the circuit in June and gave birth to a son, Leo, in December. Azarenka, 27, is planning to return to competition in late July after Wimbledon.

Credit The new york Times

BARCELONA LOOKS FOR ANOTHER MIRACLE AGAINST JUVENTUS IN THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

By Toyin Akiode

Barcelona invalidated the proverb that ‘thunder doesn’t strike the same place twice’ as they replicated their first leg lethargic display in Paris against Juventus last week Tuesday. Paulo Dybala and Giorgio Chiellini did the damage against Barcelona in another match that they will like to forget in a hurry.

With almost everyone giving up on Barcelona’s chances of progressing against Paris Saint Germain by overhauling a four-goal deficit, theCatalans did the impossible and arrived at this level right on the door steps of Turin giants; Juventus.

Unfortunately, their first leg display in Turin has done serious damage to their quest for European club Holy Grail. They are three goals down and face a tough opposition who actually knows how to defend more than scoring!

Juventus under Masimilliano Allegri are arguably one of the top ten clubs in Europe. The team is made up of battle hardened top players from the back to the front.

Gigi Buffon will strike fear into the heart of any European striker who goes face-to-face with the legend. The Italian does know a thing or two at exploiting this aura.

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In Chiellini, Bonucci and Lichtsteiner; Allegri boasts of the most rugged, miserly and aggressive backline in Europe!

Juventus defense compared to what Paris Saint Germain brought to Camp Nou is like comparing an apple to an orange. The difference is daylight!

This is what Luis Enrique and his undoubtedly talented team will battle against tonight.  But if there is one player that has the capacity to unlock any defense and render renowned center halves ineffective; that man is Lionel Messi.

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Terrible trio will have to be at their best

Messi has been the main man for Barcelona for over 10 years and the magic is still intact. Ably supported with Luis Suarez and Neymar; Barcelona have always tormented any backline that confronts them.

Their Achilles heel is their defense. Pique is good but not great. Mascherano has lost pace and is easily exploited by quick attackers. Umtiti is the young one – he needs more exposure to become world class. And Barcelona still needs ‘that goalkeeper’.

Cick this link for detailed and more stories

http://9jafans.com/2017/04/19/barcelona-looks-another-miracle-juventus-uefa-champions-league/

Luis Enrique’s announced exit and what some had termed a poor season by Barcelona standards has left the Catalans with a foggy future.

A great showing against Juventus may push the Catalans up the hill towards confronting their bitter rivals in the ‘El Clasico’ this weekend. There is a gnawing feeling that this may be too much of asking knowing the tactical disposition of Allegri in this kind of situation.

Barcelona seem to have pushed it too far this time around and another PSG is far from happening.

Rashidi Yekini’s mother wins N2m on TV show

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Rashidi Yekini’s mum, inset late Rashidi Yekini

Alhaja Sikirat Yekini, mother of the late Super Eagles legendary goal scorer, Rashidi Yekini has won N2 million.

The octogenarian won the money on popular TV quiz game shown “Who wants to be a Millionaire”.

She was assisted by veteran actor, Dejumo Lewis and Binta Ayo Mogaji-Oduleye during the game show’s recent annual special edition tagged “Who Deserves to Be a Millionaire?”

In August 2016, after it was revealed that Yekini’s mother was living in penury despite the heroic feats performed by her son before his demise, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, hired a maid and a nurse to take care of the octogenarian.

He also donated a tricycle to Yekini’s younger brother, Hakeem.

Saraki said that he had financed the sinking of a borehole and renovated the residence of Alhaja Sikirat Yekini and upgraded her shop to a mini mart.

He had explained that the aim was to make the family not to feel neglected or abandoned.

The Senate President also announced an annual football competition for U-13 boys “so another Rasheed Yekini can be discovered among the youth from Ijagbo, Ira and Offa.”

He had said that the competition will be sponsored yearly by him and would be tagged Rasheed Yekini U-13 football competition.

The Senate President also challenged well to do Nigerians to remember the Yekini family always.

He also donated balls, jerseys and trophy for the Rasheed Yekini U-13 football competition.

Credit Punch

John Terry: Chelsea’s greatest captain prepares to leave Stamford Bridge

The legend of the blues reigns

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John Terry has been involved with Chelsea since he was 14

John Terry will bring the curtain down on his Chelsea career and a golden Stamford Bridge era when he leaves the club after 22 years at the end of this season.

Chelsea and Terry announced the mutual decision in low-key fashion after a campaign in which the 36-year-old club captain has been reduced to the ranks, barely figuring as manager Antonio Conte has led them to the top of the Premier League table.

Terry may have been marginalised by injuries, advancing years and the progress of others in the new Chelsea age – but he still stands as the symbol of the years of success stretching back to the appointment of Jose Mourinho in 2004 and the club’s first title in 50 years, claimed in the manager’s first season.

So, as Barking-born Terry prepares to say farewell to his beloved Stamford Bridge, how will a player and personality who has polarised opinion be remembered?

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The banner that is still draped from Stamford Bridge’s Matthew Harding Stand finds few dissenters among Chelsea’s fans as it is emblazoned with the message: “JT. Captain. Leader. Legend.”

Those words are now part of Chelsea’s vocabulary and were referenced in the club statement announcing his departure. They were a tribute throughout Terry’s career and will be his epitaph when he has left.

Terry may have been a divisive figure outside Stamford Bridge but inside he is regarded as the warrior who led Chelsea into battle, one of the most significant figures in the club’s history and a towering player who can take his place among the greats.

When Roman Abramovich arrived at Chelsea to change the face of the Premier League in 2003, it was Terry who remained firmly at the helm as a succession of managers – many hugely successful such as Mourinho and the double-winning Carlo Ancelotti – came and went. And in Mourinho’s case went, came back and then went again.

The statistics – whether he found favour or not – are testament to his talent and undisputed evidence of what he has meant to Chelsea.

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Terry has made 713 appearances for Chelsea since his debut as a late substitute in a League Cup tie with Aston Villa on 28 October 1998. He is third in the all-time appearance list behind Ron Harris and Peter Bonetti, scoring 66 goals and captaining Chelsea a record 578 times.

He has had a silver-lined career which included four Premier League titles, five FA Cups and three League Cups – including that domestic “Double” under Ancelotti in 2010.

Terry was also gifted the Champions League and Europe League in the roll of honour delivered with his abdication statement although he never played against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in 2012 and against Benfica in the Europa League final a year later, events which encompass the darker side of his career.

Terry is worshipped by supporters who regard him as their representative on the pitch. He is man who plays as they would given the chance – and the fact that he was among the most outstanding central defenders of his generation only added to his lustre.

He was the manager’s voice on the pitch and had a sure touch with fans off it, often rounding off his captain’s programme notes with the rallying cry: “Come On The Chels!”

Terry was the great organiser, leader and talisman as Chelsea battled for domestic supremacy with Manchester United and Arsenal and European glory alongside the superpowers at home and abroad.

This has been a low-profile farewell campaign, with Terry barely seen after an early-season injury and a shift in tactical emphasis from manager Conte to employing a three-man defensive system of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta, flanked by Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso.

Terry has only played five league games, with four starts, three FA Cup games and two EFL Cup games this season, last starting in the FA Cup at Wolves on 18 February – a grand total of 718 minutes.

Whether he gets the chance of a grand farewell will depend on Chelsea’s fortunes between now and the end of the season as they protect a slender four-point gap from Tottenham at the top of the Premier League table.

If the finale goes to Chelsea’s plan, then the last game of the season, at home to Sunderland on Sunday, 21 May, is likely to be an occasion high on emotion.

It is certainly a cleaner, more dignified break than it threatened to be when he announced in January 2016 after an FA Cup fourth-round win at MK Dons that he had not been offered a new deal and it was “not going to be a fairytale ending” – an announcement which appeared to come as a surprise to Chelsea.

Fences were mended, a new one-year contract agreed, and while this may not be a fairytale, it is a parting that is amicable, mutual and leaves the door wide open for Terry’s return to Stamford Bridge.

Those outside the club often used words other than “Captain. Leader. Legend” to describe Terry but even those who never warmed to him would surely admit to a grudging respect for his ability, success, drive and longevity.

The words of his contemporaries provide the biggest tribute with Jamie Carragher – on opposing sides to Terry in numerous battles against Liverpool – calling him “the best centre-back we’ve seen in the Premier League era”.

The lows of a great career

Terry has struggled for regular playing time under Antonio Conte this season

Even as Terry sat on the bench during Chelsea’s 2-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday, Old Trafford was reminding him in colourful terms of arguably the lowest moment of a career that was a story of contrasts.

For all the glory, there was a thread of disappointment and controversy running throughout his time with Chelsea and England that led to him being a personality who split opinion.

United’s fans were gleefully recalling the moment that reduced Terry to tears after the Champions League loss on penalties to Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in May 2008, when he stepped forward in the Moscow downpour to take what would have been the winning spot-kick, only to slip and hit the post in a moment that will haunt him forever as Chelsea went on to lose.

Terry was even denied redemption when Chelsea finally claimed their holy grail by beating Bayern Munich in their own Allianz Arena four years later under interim manager Roberto di Matteo. Terry missed the final through suspension after he was sent off in the semi-final second leg in Barcelona. He put his kit on for the celebratory photographs but was not part of the winning team and gave the impression of someone with his nose pressed up against the window looking in on the glory.

And when Chelsea beat Benfica in Amsterdam to win the 2013 Europa League, Terry was out injured. This trophy was won under another interim manager, Rafael Benitez, who had a fractious relationship with his captain.

He was also in the headlines off the field during his Chelsea career, most notably in September 2012 when he was banned for four games and fined £220,000 after a Football Association regulatory commission found him guilty of racially abusing then Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a game at Loftus Road on 23 October 2011.

It was an incident that had an impact on Terry’s England career, which he ended with a self-imposed retirement after 78 caps. He had been cleared of abusing Ferdinand at Westminster Magistrates Court in July and felt the FA’s decision to pursue a disciplinary hearing made his position “untenable”.

Terry was twice stripped of the England captaincy during his international playing days

Terry had been stripped of the captaincy by the FA over the matter in the previous February, a decision which was the catalyst for the resignation of England manager Fabio Capello, who was critical of the move.

The Italian was a staunch admirer of Terry, even restoring him to the England captaincy 13 months after removing him from the role in February 2010 after allegations the defender had a relationship with the ex-girlfriend of former England and Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge – an allegation Terry denied.

There are gaps in the CV. There are controversies that will always be linked to his name. What is beyond dispute is his status as Chelsea’s greatest and most successful captain.

The end of an era

Terry’s departure breaks the last link in the chain of Chelsea’s great generation, the last member of the spine of the teams that brought the club such success since the Millennium.

He was the last of the big beasts from a Chelsea’s dressing room almost over-crowded with huge characters, one which occasionally had to answer to accusations it wielded too much power, especially when managers such as Andre Villas-Boas and even the all-conquering Mourinho were sacked, twice in the latter’s case.

Terry was a pivotal figure surrounded by the likes of goalkeeper Petr Cech, full-back Ashley Cole, England colleague Frank Lampard and the great striker Didier Drogba, all Stamford Bridge giants.

It is now time for Chelsea’s new breed to take the club forward without the player and personality who has been a pillar of their success.

Terry has captained Chelsea 578 times, more than any other Blues playerWhere next for Terry?

Clubs around the globe will have been alerted by Terry’s declaration that he intends to continue his playing career.

It is hard, rather like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher at Liverpool, to see Terry pulling on the shirt of a Premier League club other than Chelsea – but Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has been interested in him before and may try again.

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis is another who will have noted Terry’s decision with interest, although it remains to be seen whether the interest is reciprocated.

There are the more obvious potential destinations for Terry such as Major League Soccer in the United States, which was a stop-off before retirement for former Chelsea and England team-mate Lampard at New York City FC and Gerrard at LA Galaxy – where another ex-colleague Ashley Cole currently plays.

Does Terry, however, have the current status to make him attractive to an MLS team at his age and with barely a game to his name in 12 months?

China is an obvious and lucrative option. Terry has been linked with a move to Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, who are coached by former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Chelsea to China is already a well-worn route with Ramires at Jiangsu Suning, Oscar at Shanghai SIPG and Jon Obi Mikel at Tianjin TEDA.

An opportunity in Qatar may also be offered – and Terry is unlikely to be short of options for his final move.

Credit BBC