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Name Nicolas Anelka
Spelling Abdul-Salam Bilal
Gender Male
Ethnic French
Job French Footballer
Desc Scored goals wherever he went. Won league titles with both Arsenal and Chelsea, while becoming a key player at Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton and West Brom
  Nicolas Anelka’s spell at Arsenal was brief. However, he never needed much time to make an impact. He burst onto the scene during the 1997/98 season, displacing Ian Wright and helping fire Arsenal to a memorable double. Had he stayed with the Gunners rather than jumped ship to Real Madrid, it might have been Anelka rather than Thierry Henry who eventually broke Wright’s goalscoring record

Affiliation

Org France National Team
Club as Player West Brom Albion
  Bolton Wanderers
  Manchester City
  Liverpool FC
  Chelsea FC
  Real Madrid
  Arsenal FC

Relationship

Brother Claude Anelka
  Didier Anelka
Agents Marc Roger

2016 08 09 Retrieve

[Christianity to Islam] I was sixteen when I converted to Islam, beyond the fraternal aspect, my conversion did not change my life. I was already living by the same principles - being righteous, having values. I used to fast during Ramadan because I admired the people fasting around me. What made me convert was that I had that certainty that Islam was for me. I felt this relationship with God, and that enlightened my life. I had that conviction in my heart that that was my religion. I am pleased to be a Muslim, a religion of peace and I learned a lot from Islam

2018 11
Anelka joined the coaching staff at Lille’s academy, specialising in attacking drills.

2018 10 13 Retrieve

[Anelka claims Bolton spell was ‘best of career’] It was the best moment of my career. I was happy to play with El-Hadji Diouf and other French players. I liked the way we played football back then. Simple : kick-and-rush!

You didn’t have to dribble, you just had to fight. You knew the ball was going to come into the box sooner or later and you’ll have your chance

2019 08 02 Retrieve

[In an exclusive interview araound 1999 February, Anelka claimed to being] bored in London. I don’t know anybody in London and I don’t want to. I don’t think I’ll see my contract through

[In another off-the-record chat, he professed to having panic attacks at night] I had the impression of playing against ghosts. I don’t know whether they are dreams or nightmares

I live my life how I want to, even though it makes things complicated. The future will show who is right

[Arsenal reported Marseille for tapping up their player, days after the striker had claimed] They talk about loyalty and love of the shirt. All that is dead

[A week after the family doctor insisted Nicolas was suffering from stress, his £23.5 million move to Real Madrid was finally confirmed] I’m joining the biggest club in Europe. Arsenal are much smaller in comparison

[Beyond the bile, there was also a lingering sense of regret – mainly from Anelka himself. On several occasions, he expressed sorrow and admitted] Wenger was the coach who understood me best. I was impetuous at times, and didn’t always behave as I should have done

2020 04 01 Retrieve

[His early form suggests exactly what Kevin Keegan has been saying all along, that at £13million, City have a genuine bargain] If they want to take the goal away from me, that’s up to them. It would be nice to have been given it but if they want to give it somebody else, I’ve nothing to say about it

[Anelka had been given plenty of stick by the Gunners’ faithful on the night despite scoring 23 goals in 65 Premiership appearances during his time at Highbury. Football fans, though, rarely boo a bad player. And it must have been sweet to score his first header at Highbury. Anelka admits he enjoyed it] I have scored headers elsewhere in the past but this was the first time I’d actually managed it in England. I think the Arsenal fans were the way they were because they don’t understand why I left Highbury.

I went back there twice last season with Liverpool and the reception from the fans was okay but I don’t care about that. I have got on with my life and Arsenal fans should forget. I forget their whistles and only think about the good times. They are an awesome side and they still have the desire and hunger to win more.

Arsene Wenger was a big influence on my career and I am full of admiration for what he has done at Arsenal. He had confidence in me when I was a teenager and I had confidence in him. He helped me as a 17 year old and I helped him by doing my best on the pitch. He trusted me and I trusted him

[Anelka recently said of Houllier that] he imagined future problems and imagined the worst

[Privately, the young striker must be hoping to make the Liverpool boss regret the decision but their loss is City’s gain and he has surprised many by not just his prowess in the penalty area but his all-round work rate which is something he admits is a new side to his game] It was not part of my game when I was at Arsenal where I was an out and out striker and a scorer of goals. But, first at Real Madrid and then at Paris St Germain, I learned to play behind the strikers. Now I do both jobs for the side and I like that a lot. I am a better player now. I am older and wiser. Many things have happened to me in my career since I was at Arsenal.

I feel I have different dimensions to my game now and I am a more complete player because of it. I am enjoying playing for City, but we all know we need to improve. I feel very settled and the supporters have been behind me from the very first game, which I appreciate a lot.

At this club, it doesn’t matter whether you are French, Dutch, English, German or whatever

It is so easy to be the same and we are all friends. That is not the case at all clubs. Here though, it is the best. It is very easy to be accepted. This atmosphere is different to anywhere I have been. In Spain with Real, going into the dressing room is like entering into a family environment. If you are a stranger, it takes time to be accepted and it is hard to get inside that inner circle.

It is not like that here. Straight away you are made to feel welcome and players enjoy it. There are no reputations to get past. At Real, you have to wait and wait to see if you are accepted.

A manager like Kevin, though, helps bond the players together. He smiles all the time, even when you miss chances. He will always have a laugh and a joke and a smile is never far from his face.

I have to say thank you to the supporters here. They are simply the best I have ever played in front of.

Since the start of the season I have been happy with the way things have gone. And I am really happy here, the happiest I have ever been. When you have travelled around places like England, France and Spain, you get to see what things are the best.

For a player, England is the best. When you leave training, you are left alone and you can generally do whatever you like. That is not always true in France or Spain and you can’t walk around like everyone else in the street.