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David Beckham urges John Terry to stay at his beloved Chelsea


David Beckham urges John Terry to stay at his beloved Chelsea

“I don’t think JT will move because he’s Chelsea through and through. But football’s a business. I think he’ll stay at Chelsea because they won’t want to lose him,” Beckham said ahead of LA Galaxy’s game on Thursday night against New York Red Bulls, his first back in the United States since his loan period in Milan.

Beckham questioned suggestions that the dizzying contract on offer from City, of close to £200,000-a-week plus bonuses and a significant signing-on fee, had turned the 28 year-old’s head.

“If you’ve got passion to play for the club you’re at, then that goes beyond money,” he said. “JT’s like that. He’s passionate about football, not passionate about money.

“He’ll decide what’s best for his football career. It won’t be about money for him. At the end of the day, he’s England captain and you don’t become England captain being greedy.”

Interestingly City manager Mark Hughes had posed the question earlier this week as to whether that passion for Chelsea had ebbed when he stated that he felt Terry needed a new challenge. And certainly those close to him have claimed that Terry is concerned about the sporting ambitions of Chelsea

As expected, Terry boarded the flight to Seattle for the four-match sequence, which begins on Saturday against Seattle Sounders, still having not made a public utterance about whether he intends to commit to the club he has always played for and, at the very least, see out the remaining three years of his contract.

Chelsea are making plans. Ricardo Carvalho, who had been informed earlier this summer that he could leave for Inter Milan – who Chelsea face next week – if the right offer was made for him by Jose Mourinho, has now been told he will not be sold.

The change of heart may be due to new manager Carlo Ancelotti having had the opportunity to look at the Portuguese defender in training, but there is also the suspicion that if Terry is prised away then Chelsea do not want to leave themselves lacking experience at the heart of the team.

Inter are yet to make a sufficient cash offer for Carvalho, or Deco, who they also want, but Chelsea have informed the player, who wants to go, that a deal is not being countenanced.

Beckham made his own dramatic exit in leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2003 and he again spoke about how raw that departure was.

“I would never have gone to another English club from Manchester United,” he said. “At the time, I didn’t even want to leave Manchester United. So, I knew that once I left there I had to go to somewhere on a par with United and that was Real Madrid, in my eyes.”

Did he regret leaving? “No, because it wasn’t in my hands,” Beckham said. “There was nothing that I could have done about it. But I’ve always said that, from the moment I left to now, that I always wanted to stay at Manchester United for my whole career.

“I missed it. I couldn’t even bear to watch Manchester United on the TV for the first three years after leaving just because it hurt me a lot.”

His time at LA Galaxy has also, in terms of football if not finances, been tough. It is evident that he has been angered by the criticism he has faced, not least from his team-mate Landon Donovan in a recently published book.

The two players have talked, in a meeting brokered by coach Bruce Arena, but Beckham is still annoyed.

Meanwhile, Joe Cole has been ruled out of Chelsea’s tour after suffering an injury setback. The midfielder, who has been out since January through cruciate knee ligament damage, and has now undergone an operation after suffering a small tear to his meniscus in the knee. He will miss the first month of the season.

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Indonesia confirms militant alive


Indonesia confirms militant alive

Indonesian police say DNA tests show that a militant killed in a weekend raid was not Noordin Mohammed Top, one of the region’s most wanted men.

The dead man – killed at the end of a siege at a remote farmhouse in Central Java on Saturday – was named instead as a suspect in two 17 July bomb attacks.

Police sources had earlier said they had killed Malaysian-born Noordin.

He has been blamed for a number of attacks, including the July hotel bombs in Jakarta and the 2002 Bali blasts.

“The dead body is Ibrohim… We tried to match the DNA with the sample from Johor [Noordin’s son] and it didn’t match,” police spokesman Nanan Soekarna told a news conference.

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South Africa ready for World Cup party

“Vuvuzela” trumpets blasted and soccer chants rang out across South Africa on the eve of the continent’s first World Cup which Africans hope will transform negative global perceptions of them.

Fans celebrate as they wait for the arrival of the South Africa’s national soccer team “Bafana Bafana” during a parade on the streets of Sandton in Johannesburg June 9, 2010.

In hotels and training grounds across the vast and beautiful nation, players and coaches of the 32 competing nations had their eyes set on an equally lofty goal – lifting the globe’s most coveted sporting prize on July 11.

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma unrealistically urged the local Bafana Bafana (The Boys) team to bring him the trophy. But the more likely benefit for the hosts is a legacy of tourism, investment and greater social unity.

South Africa go into Friday’s opener against Mexico brimming with confidence after a 12-match unbeaten run.

The majority of 90,000 people in Soccer City will be backing Bafana Bafana with a cacophony of vuvuzelas that have already become a symbol of South Africa 2010.

“This is big history, I can’t believe it,” local fan Alice Satege said, shaking with tears as she cheered a team parade.

Mexican fans laughing and singing under a statue of Nelson Mandela in sunny Johannesburg on Thursday said they had no qualms about spoiling the local party. Other pockets of fans chanted in multiple languages in Nelson Mandela Square.

Uruguay face France in the second match of the 64-game tournament’s opening day. Among foreigners pouring in, none can have taken a more epic journey than a Uruguayan family which has driven 100,000 km across 41 nations in a tiny car since early 2007 before reaching the World Cup by ship.

Spain, Brazil favorites

For lowly-ranked South Africa, just reaching the second round – and not becoming the first host nation of a World Cup to go out at the start – would probably be triumph enough.

Other African nations like Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana have much stronger sides, though the loss of Didier Drogba and Michael Essien respectively are blows to their chances.

Few expect an end to Europe and South America’s stranglehold on the World Cup, with Spain and Brazil everyone’s favorites.

Argentina have arguably one of the most gifted sides, though their chances could depend on the chemistry between maverick manager Diego Maradona and brilliant forward Lionel Messi.

Usual wild expectations associated with England’s team of Premier League players are tempered this time round after some unconvincing friendlies and injuries to key players. But if they win their Group C, they have a kind draw to the semifinals.

Away from speculation of what is to come on the pitch, Netherlands winger Eljero Elia sparked possibly the first major controversy of the tournament by appearing to insult Moroccans on a live streaming video.

“I want to apologize … I am not a racist,” he said.

Thieves strike again

Africans are praying the month-long tournament will counter what they see as old caricatures of hunger, AIDS and crime in world media that fails to grasp the continent’s modern face.

But robberies against foreign journalists have undercut that message for thousands of reporters covering the event, giving a reminder of crime as bad as almost anywhere outside a war-zone.

In the latest incident, Chinese journalists were robbed in their car, the embassy said on Thursday.

Another negative for the tournament is an extraordinary injury list full of big names.

The latest scare was over Switzerland captain Alex Frei, who is doubtful for their opener against Spain next week after hurting an ankle in training.

Health-permitting, former political prisoner and president, Nelson Mandela, 91, intends to make an appearance at Friday’s opening match, hoping to inspire the nation as he did for the Rugby World Cup in 1995 that South Africa won. The party was to officially start on Thursday night with a concert in South Africa’s biggest township, Soweto.

In the camp of little-fancied Slovakia, it was a family affair as coach Vladimir Weiss sought to avoid any accusations of favoritism towards his son and player of the same name. “I am very strict with him, much stricter with him than other players,” the coach said on the training pitch.