John Terry happy to concentrate on playing after troubled year
Whether others will let him is doubtful, but John Terry said that he just wants to "concentrate on the football" after making his first start since being acquitted of racially abusing the QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Terry scored against Major League Soccer's All Stars on Wednesday night as Chelsea lost 3-2 at PPL Park in Pennsylvania but he was taunted by American fans who made reference to the controversy.
Despite the verdict at Westminster magistrates' court two weeks ago, Terry could still face footballing sanctions such as a suspension and fine. The FA is expected to announce next week whether he will be charged with using racially abusive language in the incident with Ferdinand at Loftus Road last October.
However, the Chelsea captain is now hoping to put the events of last season behind him. "I'm delighted to get back to football, concentrate on what I love doing. I'm very pleased to be here with the side and concentrating on getting fit first and foremost. And cracking away early on in the season. We have got some big games coming up, and I'm looking forward to being part of that," he said.
Selected by Roy Hodgson for England's Euro 2012 squad while Rio Ferdinand, Anton's brother, was left out, Terry hopes to be picked for the friendly against Italy in Switzerland on 15 August.
"It's encouraging when you take a step back. Obviously being knocked out was disappointing, but under Roy it was good. And it's important that I'm here now and just concentrating on my football," he said.
The 31-year-old believes that Roman Abramovich has lost none of his passion for the club despite the owner achieving his long-held goal of winning the Champions League last May as Chelsea overcame Bayern Munich on penalties.
"He's down at the training ground, he's around the hotel, he wants to know what's going on, what kind of training we are doing. It is really refreshing to see and I think it's good for the new players to see that," Terry said.
"You have to [buy]. You look at what other clubs are doing, what Man City are doing, even PSG who I thought were very good the other day [in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Yankee Stadium]. There is so much money out there. Even after winning the Champions League it is so important that we keep competing. And thankfully we have got an owner who is very much prepared to do that."
Chelsea are chasing Wigan's Victor Moses despite spending over £60 million already this summer on three other attacking midfielders in Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin. Roberto Di Matteo, the manager, said that the team needs to improve up front after this defeat on the penultimate leg of the club's pre-season US tour. Chelsea fly home after meeting AC Milan in Miami tomorrow.
Frank Lampard thinks Hazard is a potential superstar. "First impressions are very good – touch, awareness, speed," the midfielder said of the £32m capture from Lille. "It's up to him but he could be a very big player in Chelsea's history if he wants," Lampard said.
The game pitted Chelsea against two undoubted greats in David Beckham and Thierry Henry. Overlooked for the Team GB squad, Beckham flew in from London on Wednesday, played 73 impressive minutes and took a plane straight back to London after the game in order to participate in today's Olympics opening ceremony.
"He is such a massive ambassador and a statesman for our country as well as a great footballer. That was why the Olympics want him there, but as a player he's still got lots," Lampard said.
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