February 12, 2010 7:30 PM ET
John Terry thanks Chelsea fans for their support the best way athletes know how: by giving away clothing that contains a bucket's worth of sweat.
John Terry, the recently deposed captain of England's World Cup team, has been granted a leave of absence from Chelsea's match on Sunday. In case you haven't been following the story, Terry allegedly had an affair with England teammate Wayne Bridge's girlfriend, lingerie model Vanessa Perroncel. Despite a history of public indecency and loutishness, messing around with a fellow player's WAG is the one taboo you can't break.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter thinks the whole hubbub is overblown. "Listen, this is a special approach in the Anglo-Saxon countries," he said. "If this had happened in, let's say, Latin countries then I think he would have been applauded." Of course, such astute analysis comes from the same guy who these innovative ideas for expanding the popularity of women's soccer: "Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts."
We're dying to hear Sepp's opinion on other matters of international importance, like why fans from "Latin countries" are better dancers, or what makes Italians so good at diving.
Things aren't looking up for Terry's fellow national team and Chelsea defender Ashley Cole either, who's out three months with a broken ankle. In England, they like to call this particular brand of World Cup drama "par for the course." That first game match-up versus the U.S. just got a whole lot more interesting.
In other futbol news, reports out of Spain are that striker Raul will move from Real Madrid to the New York Red Bulls next season. The 15-year veteran and all-time leading scorer isn't the only target for the Major League Soccer club, who intend to add Barcelona's Thierry Henry and coax Paolo Maldini (formerly of AC Milan) out of retirement. Does this make the Red Bulls the league's equivalent of a recent John Travolta movie?