Anelka playing for Chelsea in 2010
|Full name||Nicolas Sébastien Anelka|
|Date of birth||14 March 1979|
|Place of birth||Le Chesnay, France|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2001–2002||→ Liverpool (loan)||20||(4)|
|2013||→ Juventus (loan)||2||(0)|
|2013–2014||West Bromwich Albion||12||(2)|
|2012||Shanghai Shenhua (player-coach)|
|2015||Mumbai City (player-manager)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 November 2014.
Nicolas Sébastien Anelka (French pronunciation: [ni.kɔ.la a.nɛl.ka]; born 14 March 1979) is a French former footballer who played as a forward. Prior to his retirement from international football, Anelka was also a regular member of France national team. Known for his ability to both score and assist goals, former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti described Anelka as a quick player with good aerial ability, technique, shooting and movement off the ball.
Anelka began his career at Paris Saint-Germain, but soon moved to Arsenal. He became a first team regular and won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award the following season. Real Madrid signed him for £22.3 million in 1999, but he did not settle in well and returned to Paris Saint-Germain in a £20 million deal. Despite regular first team football in Paris, Anelka set his eyes upon the Premier League once more; he went on loan to Liverpool in January 2002 but joined Manchester City for £13 million at the start of the 2002–03 season. After three seasons in Manchester, he moved to Fenerbahçe for two seasons before returning to England to join Bolton Wanderers – in deals worth £7 million and £8 million, respectively. He transferred to Chelsea from Bolton for a reported £15 million in January 2008. During his transfers over the years, he has built an aggregate transfer cost of just under £90 million. On 12 December 2011, Shanghai Shenhua announced that they had reached an agreement with Anelka to join the team in the winter transfer window. After one season there, Anelka joined Italian side Juventus on a six-month loan deal in 2013, after which he was released from Shanghai and signed for West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer. Following his dismissal by West Brom, he signed for Mumbai City FC as a Marquee Player and was named player-manager in 2015.
Anelka played 69 times at international level and won his first international honours with France at UEFA Euro 2000, and won the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup the following year. His failure to settle at club level limited his international appearances, but he returned to the national team for the Euro 2008 competition. On 19 June 2010, Anelka was excluded by the French Football Federation (FFF) from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa for "comments directed against the national coach, Raymond Domenech, unacceptable to the FFF, French football, and the principles they uphold". Two months later, having failed to turn up to his disciplinary hearing, he was banned for France's next 18 games by the FFF, effectively ending his international career. Anelka later claimed to be "dying with laughter" at the 18-match ban, as he had already decided to retire from international play.
Anelka was born in March 14, 1979 in Le Chesnay, Yvelines, to parents who had migrated from Martinique in 1974. Thereafter they settled in Trappes, near Paris. His mother is a secretary in the local high school.
Anelka is married to Barbara Tausia, a Belgian choreographer. Together, they have two sons, Kais born in 2008 and Kahil born in 2010. He acted in the 2002 film Le Boulet as a footballer named Nicolas. He has stated that, when he retires from football, he would like to work in the film industry because he has a friend in the business. He said, "I have a friend who's a producer, who makes lots of films. He recently did Astérix. So it's already agreed that I'm going to do other films. It helps to know actors and producers. It's different to football and it's something I enjoy very much because there's no ball. I like pretending to be somebody else, it's fun."
Anelka has two brothers, Claude and Didier.
After discussing religion with some childhood friends, Anelka converted to Islam in 2004 in the United Arab Emirates, taking the Muslim name of "Abdul-Salam Bilal". Anelka has said that he initially fasted during daylight hours as is required for the Muslim month of Ramadan, but "I realised I often got injured just after the period of Ramadan, so I don't observe it strictly any more". Initially, Anelka considered leaving European football to play in the UAE: "I am ready to stay here and to play for a club in the Emirates. I am not keen to go back to England or France." However, this did not come to pass and he briefly moved to Turkey instead, as well as three more English clubs.
Anelka is also known for his controversial relationship with French comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala and attracted widespread condemnation after performing the quenelle hand gesture, created by M'bala and regarded as anti-Semitic, on the pitch when playing for West Bromwich Albion in 2013. Anelka has responded that the gesture is anti-establishment, not anti-Semitic. An FA disciplinary hearing banned Anelka for five games, but found that he was not anti-Semitic, and had not intended the gesture to express or promote anti-Semitism. After West Brom suspended him pending their own investigation, Anelka was given notice of termination of his contract by the club due to the club and player being unable to come to terms over the conditions required for the suspension by the club to be lifted, and comments made by the player on Twitter.
Anelka started his career at Paris Saint-Germain as a youth player at age 16 and was said to have great potential for scoring goals.
In February 1997, at the age of 17, Anelka joined Premier League club Arsenal for a fee of £500,000 under newly appointed manager Arsène Wenger. His first team opportunities were limited in the 1996–97 season, but in 1997–98, he broke into the first team after a long-term injury to striker Ian Wright. In November 1997, Anelka scored his first goal for Arsenal in a 3–2 home win against Manchester United. Anelka was a key player in Arsenal's Double win of both the Premier League and FA Cup that season. Anelka scored the second goal in Arsenal's 2–0 win over Newcastle United in that season's FA Cup final.
Anelka was Arsenal's top scorer in the 1998–99 season with 17 Premier League goals. This form saw him voted the PFA Young Player of the Year, but Arsenal failed to defend their Premier League and FA Cup titles and made little progress in the UEFA Champions League. Fans turned on the striker amid transfer speculation and a perceived lack of enthusiasm, giving him the nickname "Le Sulk". During the close season, Anelka stated a desire to leave Arsenal, claiming the British press was responsible for his unhappiness in England. On 2 August 1999, Anelka joined Real Madrid.
In total, he made 90 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 28 goals.
In the summer of 1999, Anelka transferred to Real Madrid for £22.3 million. He failed to score for Real Madrid in his first five months at the club, eventually recording his first goal in the opening match of the FIFA Club World Championship against Al-Nassr on 5 January 2000. Two days later, he scored twice against Corinthians in the same competition, also missing an 81st-minute penalty kick that would have given him a hat-trick.
On 28 February 2000, Anelka scored his first La Liga goal in a 3–0 defeat of rivals Barcelona in El Clásico at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. In March, however, Anelka was suspended by club president Lorenzo Sanz after refusing to train because of a disagreement with coach Vicente del Bosque. After returning to the team, Anelka scored in both legs of the Champions League semi-final to give Madrid a 3–2 aggregate victory over Bayern Munich and advance to the competition final. He started in the final, held at the Stade de France in his home city of Paris, as Real Madrid ran out 3–0 winners over Valencia to win an eighth European Cup.
Return to Paris-Saint Germain
Anelka signed a six-year professional contract at Paris Saint-Germain in July 2000, a return to the club at which he used to play as a youth player, in a transfer deal worth £22 million. The Paris club had finished second in Ligue 1 that season, qualifying for the Champions League. Anelka's return was met with much fanfare. Canal Plus, which owned Paris St. Germain, financed the transfer and PSG's sponsor Nike covered much of Anelka's pay packet of £30-35,000 per week.
Anelka started well, and was appointed captain of a team that was briefly at the top of Ligue 1, but the team's form dropped soon. In December 2000, following a 5-1 loss to Sedan Philippe Bergeroo was replaced as PSG manager by Luis Fernández. PSG finished ninth in Ligue 1 that season, earning a place in next season's Intertoto Cup. PSG finished second in the first round of group stage, behind Bayern Munich, but finished bottom of the second group stage, behind Deportivo La Coruña, Galatasaray and AC Milan.
After two-and-a-half years, Anelka returned to the Premier League in December 2001 to join Liverpool on a short-term loan deal until the end of the season. He contributed to Liverpool's late push to come second in the league, scoring goals against Everton, Fulham, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town, and in the FA Cup against Birmingham City, but manager Gérard Houllier opted not to offer him a permanent deal after the end of the season in favour of signing Senegalese forward El Hadji Diouf.
Anelka opted to join Manchester City on 24 May 2002, with the £13 million fee paid by manager Kevin Keegan then a club record high. In his first season at City, Anelka was the club's top scorer with 14 goals, including a goal in the last ever Manchester Derby at Maine Road against Manchester United, against former club Arsenal and a last minute winner at Anfield after scoring a penalty just moments earlier. In his second season at City, he finished top scorer again, in the club's first season at the City of Manchester Stadium, with 25 goals. On 16 October 2004, Anelka won and scored a penalty against Chelsea, which led to José Mourinho's first defeat as Chelsea manager.
In January 2005, Manchester City announced that Anelka had completed a £7 million transfer to Turkish team Fenerbahçe. Anelka helped the Turkish club win the Süper Lig title in 2005, and played with them in the UEFA Cup that season, as well as the UEFA Champions League the season after.
On 25 August 2006, Bolton Wanderers signed Anelka on a four-year deal for a club record transfer fee of £8 million. Anelka made his debut for Bolton against Watford on 9 September 2006. He opened his account on 19 September in a League Cup game with Walsall, scoring the last goal of a 3–1 away win. After 11 matches without a goal in the Premier League, he scored his first goals – a brace – on 25 November to help down Arsenal 3–1. He finished the 2006–07 Premier League season as Bolton's top scorer with ten goals.
In January 2007, Anelka stated that he would be willing to leave Bolton for a return to former club Arsenal. Anelka, however, pledged his future to Bolton in July 2007 following talks with manager Sammy Lee. Anelka later said he would reluctantly consider leaving the club if Bolton's poor start to the 2007–08 season continued, but later signed a new four-year contract lasting until 2011 on 30 August.
On 11 January 2008, it was confirmed that Anelka would join Chelsea for £15 million. Anelka made his Chelsea debut against Tottenham Hotspur on 12 January 2008, and scored his first goal two weeks later in the FA Cup against Wigan Athletic. He scored his first league goal on 2 February against Portsmouth, but failed to score again for Chelsea during the 2007–08 season.
In the 2008 Champions League final, Anelka delivered Chelsea's seventh penalty which was saved by Edwin van der Sar, resulting in Manchester United winning the competition. Anelka later blamed manager Avram Grant for his penalty miss, claiming Grant brought him on to play as a late substitute without a proper warm up beforehand and also too late in the game to acclimatize himself in it.
On 3 August 2008, Anelka scored four goals in a 5–0 friendly win against Milan.
With Didier Drogba injured at the beginning of the 2008–09 season, Anelka made a very impressive start to the campaign. His goalscoring spree won him the Golden Boot Award on November 14, 2008, for being the first player that season to score 10 Premier League goals. Anelka scored his first competitive hat-trick for Chelsea against Sunderland, in a 5–0 home win on 1 November 2008, and followed this up with two braces against Blackburn Rovers, then West Bromwich Albion. He established himself as an important member of the squad and maintained his place in the team despite the return to fitness of Drogba. After the arrival of Guus Hiddink, Anelka was more often played on the wing. Furthermore, he was ranked among the top goalscorers in the league for the season. He scored another hat-trick against Watford in the FA Cup to earn Chelsea a 3–1 victory at Vicarage Road. On 10 May, he scored one goal and set up another in a 4–1 away win against former club Arsenal. A goal in Chelsea's final Premier League game of the season at Sunderland put him as top goal scorer for the season in the Premier League, earning him the Golden Boot with 19 goals in total.
Anelka scored his first goal of the 2009–10 season against West London rivals Fulham in a 2–0 win at Craven Cottage, before continuing his fine form with the opening goal in Chelsea's 3–0 win over Burnley the following weekend. He netted his third goal of the season in the opening game of the 2009–10 Champions League group stage in the 1–0 victory over Porto. Anelka scored one of the best goals of his season against APOEL in the Champions League with the ball being passed into the net from outside the box. Anelka scored his third league goal of the season against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in a 2–0 win with the second goal coming from compatriot Florent Malouda. Anelka continued his fine scoring run in the Champions League with the winner in the 1–0 victory over Porto at the Estádio do Dragão, making Chelsea only the second ever English side to win at Porto's home ground. He continued his scoring in the season by scoring Chelsea's first goal in a 3–3 draw against Everton in the Premier League, his first goal in the competition since October. He followed that up with another goal in Chelsea's 2–1 victory over Portsmouth.
On 16 January 2010, on his return from injury, Anelka scored twice in an astonishing 7–2 victory over Sunderland. He continued this fine form into the next match scoring in an FA Cup tie against Preston North End, bringing his tally in the previous four matches to five goals. After the return of Didier Drogba from the African Cup of Nations, Anelka had been playing on the wing to support him. Anelka scored his first goal since January in a 1–0 win over his former club Bolton in April 2010, putting Chelsea four points ahead of second place Manchester United. On the final day of the season, Anelka scored two goals against Wigan, including the first Chelsea goal in the sixth minute, to help Chelsea win their third Premier League title and their first in four years. Anelka (along with Ashley Cole) joined Henning Berg in the exclusive band of players who have won the Premier League title with two different clubs. On 24 June 2010, Chelsea announced that Anelka had signed a new one-year extension to his existing contract that will keep him at the club until 2012.
Anelka started the 2010–11 campaign in fine form for Chelsea. He assisted Florent Malouda's last goal against West Brom on the opening day of the Premier League season, scored a double in the next game against Wigan, then won a penalty against Stoke City in Chelsea's third game of the season. He continued this fine form in Chelsea's first Champions League game, scoring a first half brace against MŠK Žilina. Further goals against Marseille and Spartak Moscow ensured that this was the first season since playing for Paris Saint-Germain that he had scored at least four goals in a Champions League season. On 19 October, during Chelsea's Champions League group stage match against Spartak, Anelka continued his impressive goal scoring form in the Champions League, scoring the second goal of the match and his 50th goal for Chelsea in the 43rd minute of the game. He ended the 2010–11 season with 16 goals from 45 appearances in all competitions.
Anelka scored Chelsea's first goal of the 2011–12 season against West Brom in a 2–1 Premier League victory. This would prove to be Anelka's final goal for Chelsea, however, as he failed to find the net in 14 further appearances in 2011. On 3 December 2011, after Chelsea's 3–0 victory against Newcastle, manager André Villas-Boas confirmed to the media that Anelka, along with central defender Alex, had submitted transfer requests to the club and would be free to leave Chelsea in January. On 12 December, Chelsea confirmed that Anelka would head to the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. It was rumored that his salary would be as high as £175,000 a week. After being transfer-listed, Anelka revealed that Villas-Boas banned him from using the first-team car park, forced to use separate changing rooms and made to train with the youth team. He said, "Ever since I was punished they put me with the youngsters. I've got all the kit and equipment that professionals have but they put me in a separate changing room – that's football for you." Zhu Jun, owner of Shanghai Shenhua, confirmed that they had sealed a deal with Anelka in his weibo on 12 December. The official websites of Shanghai Shenhua and Chelsea also confirmed this transfer later on the same day.
On 1 January 2012, Anelka moved to the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. His annual salary at Shanghai Shenhua was reported to be around €12 million. Following his move to the club, Anelka revealed that he turned down the chance to join his former club Paris Saint-Germain the previous month in favour of signing for Shanghai Shenhua and explained that his move was because he did not have attractive offers to remain within Europe. On 21 February 2012, Anelka scored a debut goal in a pre-season friendly match against Hunan Billows, just 40 seconds after the start of the game. Anelka failed to make his Chinese Super League (CSL) debut due to ankle injury on the opening league game of the season against Jiangsu Sainty. He eventually made his CSL debut and scored his first CSL goal on 16 March 2012, in a 3–2 away defeat against bitter rivals Beijing Guoan. On 11 April 2012, Anelka was named as part of the coaching staff to help struggling manager Jean Tigana.
On 19 June 2012, it was confirmed that Anelka's former Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba would join Shanghai Shenhua. On 7 June 2012, it was claimed that Anelka was keen on a move back to the Premier League after he was involved in a heated exchange with a fan for refusing to bow in front of the travelling Shenhua fans with his teammates. Anelka provided two assists for Drogba and headed in a late equalizer to earn Shenhua a point in a 3–3 draw with Shandong Luneng Taishan on 25 August.
On 26 January 2013, Anelka joined Italian side Juventus on a five-month loan deal. He made his debut for Juventus against Celtic in the Champions League. Anelka made two further appearances for Juventus, both in Serie A, as the club won the league title.
West Bromwich Albion
On 4 July 2013, Anelka joined West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer after being released by Shanghai Shenhua, marking another return to the Premier League, the sixth Premier League club he has played for in his career. He said that he would like to end his career in England, at West Brom. On 22 August 2013, Anelka reportedly walked out of a training session telling staff that he was leaving the club to retire. The reports were quickly denied by the club, which confirmed that Anelka would miss one game and that he had left the session early on compassionate grounds following the death of his agent. On 28 August 2013, it was announced that since completing his week of compassionate leave, Anelka had decided to remain with the club and would begin training the following day in preparation for West Brom's forthcoming match against Swansea City. He subsequently returned full-time to the team.
He scored his first goal for the club in a 3–3 draw with West Ham United on 28 December 2013, scoring a first-half brace in his first appearance in over two months. Upon scoring, he performed a quenelle, a hand gesture popularized by his comedian friend Dieudonné, an inverted Nazi salute. The Football Association (FA) and anti-racism organisations investigated the incident following allegations of anti-Semitism. On 27 February 2014, an FA disciplinary hearing banned Anelka for five matches, fined him £80,000 and ordered him to complete an educational course. The hearing stated that "we did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle". Anelka and the FA both decided not to appeal this verdict.
Anelka used social media to announce he was terminating his contract with West Brom. West Brom responded that Anelka had given the club no official notification of his intention to leave, and later gave him 14 days notice of termination from the club for gross misconduct.
On 15 September 2014, Anelka joined Mumbai City of the newly formed Indian Super League. Following a three-match global ban, he made his debut on 28 October 2014 in a 5–1 defeat at Chennaiyin FC. Five days later, in his first home match at the DY Patil Stadium, Anelka scored the only goal of the game to defeat the Kerala Blasters. On 5 November, he scored his only other goal of the season, for a home game of the same outcome against the Delhi Dynamos. Anelka played a total of seven matches for Mumbai, as they finished seventh and did not qualify for the end-of-season play-offs.
In January 2015, Anelka had agreed a deal to join Algerian side NA Hussein Dey on an 18-month contract, however the move was blocked by the Algerian Football Federation as, "Only those aged under 27 and playing on the international level for their countries are allowed to sign up with our clubs."
At youth level, Anelka played for the French under-20 team at the 1997 World Youth Championship, and made his senior team debut for France in a goalless draw with Sweden national team on 22 April 1998. Anelka was not selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup-winning squad, but quickly became France's first choice centre forward during the UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying campaign, scoring the opening goal in France's 3–2 win over Russia on his first international start and scoring both goals in a comfortable 2–0 win over England at Wembley Stadium in February 1999. Anelka made his first appearance in a major tournament at Euro 2000, which France went on to win. He also formed part of the squad which won the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup. Despite a promising start, Anelka lost his place in the national team from 2001 to 2007 as he was not playing much first team football at club level, mainly because he was frequently transferred between clubs. When striker Djibril Cissé was forced out of 2006 World Cup due to injury, Lyon striker Sidney Govou was called up as Cissé's replacement rather than Anelka, who described the decision as a "real shame... I was completely available and ready to play in this World Cup. I think I could have helped France".
Anelka came on as a substitute in the Euro 2008 qualifier against Lithuania on 24 March 2007, and scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory. Following his performance, Anelka was praised by France manager Raymond Domenech: "It is the Nicolas I like to see... when he shows these qualities, he is a candidate for a permanent place." He also scored in the 2–0 victory against Ukraine on 2 June 2007.
Anelka featured in the France squad for Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland. Anelka started France's first group game against Romania, but was substituted after 72 minutes. He did not start either of France's remaining two games in the tournament against the Netherlands and Italy, coming on as a substitute in both games.
During the 2010 World Cup, Anelka was sent home after reportedly abusing coach Raymond Domenech at half-time during the 2–0 defeat to Mexico. Following criticism of his positioning by Domenech, Anelka is reported to have said, "Va te faire enculer, sale fils de pute," meaning, "Go fuck yourself you son of a whore." The incident was later reported by the media, and the player refused to publicly apologise when asked to do so by French Football Federation (FFF) president Jean-Pierre Escalettes. The next day, the squad refused to get to training in protest against Anelka's expulsion. Anelka was subsequently given an 18-game suspension from international football by the FFF as punishment for his actions, effectively ending his international career. Anelka later claimed to be "dying with laughter" at the 18-match ban, as he had already decided to retire from international play.
Scores and results list France's goal tally first:
|Anelka – goals for France|
|1||10 October 1998||Moscow, Russia||Russia||1–0||3–2||Euro 2000 qualification|
|2||10 February 1999||London, England||England||1–0||2–0||Friendly match|
|3||10 February 1999||London, England||England||2–0||2–0||Friendly match|
|4||6 June 2000||Casablanca, Morocco||Morocco||4–1||5–1||Friendly match|
|5||16 August 2000||Marseille, France||FIFA XI||5–0||5–1||Friendly match|
|6||30 May 2001||Daegu, Korea||South Korea||3–0||5–0||2001 Confederations Cup|
|7||9 November 2005||Fort-de-France, France||Costa Rica||1–2||3–2||Friendly match|
|8||11 October 2006||Sochaux, France||Faroe Islands||3–0||5–0||Euro 2008 qualification|
|9||24 March 2007||Kaunas, Lithuania||Lithuania||1–0||1–0||Euro 2008 qualification|
|10||2 June 2007||Saint-Denis, France||Ukraine||2–0||2–0||Euro 2008 qualification|
|11||13 October 2007||Tórshavn, Faroe Islands||Faroe Islands||1–0||6–0||Euro 2008 qualification|
|12||1 September 2008||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||Serbia||2–0||2–1||2010 World Cup qualification|
|13||10 October 2009||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||Faroe Islands||4–0||5–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
|14||14 November 2009||Croke Park, Dublin||Ireland||1–0||1–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
- As of 5 November 2014
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|1995–96||Paris Saint-Germain||Division 1||2||0||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||2||0|
|1999–00||Real Madrid||La Liga||19||2||-||-||-||-||9||2||3||3||31||7|
|2000–01||Paris Saint-Germain||Division 1||27||8||-||-||1||0||9||5||-||-||37||13|
|2001–02||Liverpool (loan)||Premier League||20||4||2||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||22||5|
|2006–07||Bolton Wanderers||Premier League||35||11||3||0||1||1||-||-||-||-||39||12|
|2012||Shanghai Shenhua||Chinese Super League||22||3||2||0||-||-||3||1||-||-||27||4|
|2012–13||Juventus (loan)||Serie A||2||0||-||-||-||-||1||0||-||-||3||0|
|2013–14||West Bromwich Albion||Premier League||12||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12||2|
|2014||Mumbai City||Indian Super League||7||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||7||2|
|France national team|
- Includes Trophée des champions, UEFA Super Cup, Community Shield (1998, 2009, 2010), Supercopa de España, FIFA Club World Cup (2000)', Süper Kupa, Chinese Super Cup and Supercoppa Italiana.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nicolas Anelka.|
- Nicolas Anelka career statistics at Soccerbase
- Nicolas Anelka – FIFA competition record
- Nicolas Anelka – UEFA competition record
- Premier League profile
- ANELKA Nicolas Fédération Française de Football (FFF) (French)