Footballer John Terry was using "straightforward racial abuse" against rival player Anton Ferdinand rather than simply repeating a racist slur, a court has heard.
Prosecutor Duncan Penny said the Chelsea captain used the phrase "f****** black c***" as an insult.
Terry, 31, claims he thought Ferdinand had wrongly accused him of racist abuse and was simply repeating the words back to him sarcastically.
The pair had traded insults in the run-up to the alleged racist insult during a Premier League game on October 23 last year.
Ferdinand taunted Terry about his alleged affair with a team mate's ex-girlfriend, while Terry implied the QPR player had bad breath.
Mr Penny said it was unlikely that Ferdinand would have had the "motivation or frankly the sophistication" in the heat of the moment to make up an allegation that Terry had used racial abuse.
"A false allegation of racism would be an accusation which involved more sophisticated thought processes than had hitherto been going on, on that football pitch," Mr Penny said.
He said Ferdinand would not be the first "victim" who was reluctant to give evidence in court.
"What was in this for Anton Ferdinand? This case will follow him for the rest of his career. He made it clear he did not wish to be here (in court), just like Mr (Ashley) Cole," the prosecutor said.
"Was it, in the case of Ferdinand, because he had made a grave and false allegation against the England captain?
"You may wish to ask yourself the question, whether in truth he was brave to give evidence in this trial?"
Terry’s lawyer George Carter-Stephenson QC said the prosecution case was based on "speculation".
He said: "This is not a case about racism. The prosecution conceded that Mr Terry is not a racist".
He told the court there was no direct evidence about what Terry had said, other than his own account.
"No matter what the words actually were, if they were or may have been Mr Terry repeating back what he believed Mr Ferdinand had accused him of, then that’s the end of this particular case."
Mr Carter-Stephenson said Terry would not have lost his temper over goading about the alleged affair, which he had faced "hundreds of times before".
"Can it really be right that Mr Terry totally loses his cool, as suggested by the prosecution, in relation to a further taunt by Mr Ferdinand about shagging his team mate's missus?" the barrister asked.
"The defence suggests that there is an inherent implausibility in that, given the evidence before this court.
"Mr Terry has 600 games behind him by way of professional top-level football experience, spanning 14 years. He has been sent off on four occasions, never in relation to his language.
"It is inconceivable to suggest that the taunt from Anton Ferdinand, that Mr Terry has heard hundreds of times before, and you may think he's heard far worse in relation to his mother, made him snap in the way suggested."
The court heard on Wednesday that some fans have chanted sexual insults about Terry's mother.
Expert lip-readers were called in by both the prosecution and defence as part of the trial.
But Mr Carter-Stephenson said lip-reading even in controlled conditions only has an accuracy of 60 to 80%.
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle is expected to deliver his verdict on Friday afternoon.
If convicted, Terry faces a maximum penalty of a £2,500 fine.