Hope Solo and Other Footballers Who Ignored Controversy

Hope Solo was one of the heroes of the United States' opening victory over a strong Australian side, keeping her side in the game from beginning to end. The goalkeeper is widely acknowledged as the best in the world, and yet just before the World Cup began, evidence emerged of what she is alleged to have said to police officers when arrested on domestic violence charges last year.

US soccer is under pressure to consider not just Solo's undoubted skill, but also what kind of a person she may or may not be, when she is off the field. She's not the first footballer to be at the center of controversy away from the pitch, but to find a way to shut it all out when she gets on there. We look at some other footballers who seemed to relish playing, even amid crises of their own making.

John Terry

Terry is Chelsea's "Captain, Leader, Legend", according to the banner that is a permanent fixture in the stands of Stamford Bridge. The Blues' longest-serving player and a man that team-mates and fans rely on, Terry has not always been seen to have set a good example when not playing.

Before the 2010 World Cup, England manager Fabio Capello had a tough decision to make; Terry and Wayne Bridge, who had just moved from Chelsea to Manchester City, were both in the sort of form that would have got them picked for the squad. However, there was one problem: Terry had been named by newspapers as having had an affair with Bridge's ex-partner.

The issue may have been a private quarrel between two work colleagues that, in an average office, would have raised interest but little else, but this is football. There was an intense moral debate over the rights and wrongs of the affair, with Terry, Chelsea and England staff repeatedly asked to comment. In the end, Terry was picked, but Capello gave the captaincy to Rio Ferdinand.

The animosity between Terry and Ferdinand continued to bubble right until the run-up to Euro 2012. Roy Hodgson, Capello's successor, was picking the squad amid a racism controversy, as Terry was alleged to have abused Rio's brother Anton in a Premier League game. This time, Terry was picked but Rio Ferdinand left out, which forced the Manchester United man's retirement from international football.

What was extraordinary was, whatever one thinks of Terry as a human being, the way he was able to ignore any crisis as soon as he went out on the pitch, where his level of play did not suffer.

Luis Suarez

Barcelona and Uruguay's Luis Suarez has just had his best-ever season, winning three trophies as part of an extraordinary Barca side. However, Suarez's season started late - again. As in his final, glorious, season at Liverpool, Suarez was serving a suspension when teammates were running onto the pitch. In both cases, it was for the appalling crime of biting an opponent during a match.

No-one could understand why Suarez would do this. In two separate situations - for Liverpool against Chelsea on Branislav Ivanovic, and for Uruguay against Italy on Giorgio Chiellini - Suarez lashed out at a defender for no apparent reason. The suspensions were entirely justified, but what surprised people was how well Suarez came back from them.

Having missed the first five games of the 2013-14 Premier League season, Suarez returned and scored 31 goals in 33 games, helping Liverpool to come close to winning their first domestic league title since 1990. At Barcelona, 16 goals for the season are not as spectacular a figure, but they reflect well when it is considered that, in partnership with Lionel Messi and Neymar, Suarez scored 42 goals in La Liga last season.

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