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The Magnificent Seven: Handshake controversies

And the award for Fair Play in Sport goes to… none of this lot.

JOHN TERRY FINDS himself in one of the lead roles for Saturday’s Handshake Gate, Part II as Chelsea visit Loftus Road for an FA Cup fourth round tie with QPR.

Although the two clubs have called for calm ahead of the game, there will no doubt be plenty of bad blood surrounding it after John Terry was alleged to have racially abused Anton Ferdinand the last time the sides met back in October.

All eyes are certain to be focused pitchside at 11.55am tomorrow as the starting line-ups are led on for another ‘will he, won’t he’ moment.

Check out this bunch, who all struggle with the meaning of sportsmanship in their own unique way. They say you can tell a lot about a person by their handshake…

1. John Terry v Wayne Bridge

Your former team-mate, who is married, has an affair with your girlfriend. You can’t stand in the same room as him, never mind travel to South Africa and spend a month in his company. So when your teams meet at Stamford Bridge, do you show him one ounce of respect? Hell no you don’t. Bridge bypasses Terry with the whole stadium, including referee Mike Dean, watching on.

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2. Jim Harbaugh v Jim Schwartz

San Francisco 49s coach Jim Harbaugh lets his emotions get the better of him after his team overcome the Detroit Lions in October and gives opposite number Jim Schwartz a slightly aggressive handshake followed by a pat on the back. Schwartz reacts and all hell breaks loose. “It was a damn bar fight out there,” the Niners coach said. Not quite, Jim.

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3. Sepp Blatter v Racism

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter has been known for his fair share of gaffes in his time and this one was right up there. At the height of the media coverage over racists incidents involving Premier League stars last year, the 75-year-old came out on Al Jazeera television to deny that such discrimination takes places in football. If it were to happen however, there is a simple solution: Get the pair involved to shake hands. Sorted.

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4. Martin Johnson v Mary McAleese

England travelled to Lansdowne Road with the Grand Slam in sight and only Ireland standing in their way. Captain Martin Johnson has since said it wasn’t intentional but he upset his opponents and the crowd by leading the team to where Ireland were supposed to stand for the pre-match handshake with the Irish President. Despite being asked to move, Johnson stood his ground – forcing Mary McAleese to walk on the grass. And it worked. They won 42-6.

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5. Marcelo v Gerard Pique

They don’t come much bigger than El Clasico and as we’ve witnessed in the past week, tempers can easily flare. In December, Barca won out 3-1 after Karim Benzema had put Madrid ahead in the first minute of the match. Brazilian defender Marcelo, who was clearly still upset by the defeat and the fact that he had scored an own-goal, refused to shake the hand of Gerard Pique.

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6. Tomas Berdych v Nicolas Almagro

Infuriated after being smacked with the ball by opponent Nicolas Almagro, Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych came back from one set down to win, then proceeded to completely blank the Spaniard. The fans at Melbourne didn’t take kindly to his lack of sportsmanship and booed their way through his post-match interview.

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7. Steven Gerrard v cheeky kid

Terry makes a cameo appearance in this clip but hasn’t a major role to play as Stevie G gets done with a schoolboy error – from a schoolboy. Chelsea’s mascot reels the Liverpool skipper in, then gives him the old ‘nah, nah, nah, nah, nah’. Brilliant.

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Any good ones we missed out on? Mark Hughes and Arsene Wenger could easily have had a whole list to themselves!

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Ben Blake

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