Chelsea's Terry still haunted by penalty miss
Chelsea captain John Terry admitted he was still haunted by his horror penalty miss in the Champions League final as he gears up for the new season here.
Terry, who will lead Chelsea against Guangzhou Pharmaceutical on Wednesday, said mental replays of the botched spot-kick plagued him every morning, the AFP reported.
"Every morning I wake up and it's the first thing on my mind. I still think of it," he said.
"I'm still very disappointed by it, but last season I said I'm a big man and have a big character and it's down for me to deal with it."
Terry slipped and sliced his kick against the post in the Moscow shoot-out, throwing away the chance to seal the title and handing a lifeline to eventual winners Manchester United.
It was the 27-year-old defender's last contribution for Chelsea before their pre-season tour, which includes three stops in Asia and a return to Russia for the four-team Railways Cup.
Terry said scoring for England soon afterwards helped ease the pain, but he remains desperate to atone under new coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
"Having the England games straight afterwards helped flush it away a tiny bit, but hopefully we will be successful with the new manager and players this season and flush away all those bad memories," he said.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech, who has signed a new five-year deal, is another player out to erase bitter memories after his howler helped Turkey dump the Czech Republic out of Euro 2008.
"The European Championships are all over for me. These things happen in football and I'm here with Chelsea and looking forward to the new challenge," Cech said.
"I'm happy to be back at training. Mistakes can happen to everyone, but it is important to get over it and keep working harder and harder."
Terry was hit especially hard by his error, which left him weeping uncontrollably. He later issued an open apology to fans and revealed he had trouble sleeping for days afterwards.
Chelsea have brought a virtually full-strength side, including new signings Deco and Jose Bosingwa, as they prepare for a new era under Scolari -- their third manager in the space of a year.
On Tuesday, the club announced a fresh five-year deal for industrious midfielder Michael Essien, who joins Cech and defender Wayne Bridge in committing to the club.
British media reported that the deal was worth a cool 20 million pounds (40 million dollars) with Essien banking 80,000 pounds a week.
Chelsea have denied making a world-record bid for AC Milan's Kaka, as well as an offer for Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o, but say they are chasing Real Madrid forward Robinho.
Transfer speculation over Didier Drogba was heightened after the striker missed the trip through injury, and key midfielder Frank Lampard's future also remains in doubt.
Scolari, the ex-Portugal boss who took Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, will be under no illusions about the expectations of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.
His immediate predecessor Avram Grant was sacked despite taking Chelsea to their first Champions League final and finishing just two points behind Manchester United in the Premiership.
Jose Mourinho, who assembled much of the current team, left under a cloud last year despite delivering six trophies in three years and remaining unbeaten in home league matches.
Scolari's Chelsea also face China's Chengdu Blades in Macau on Saturday before rounding off the Asian leg in Kuala Lumpur on July 29.