NICOLAS Anelka was a prolific goal scorer for some of the Premier League’s biggest teams.
He has not featured in English football’s top division since the 2013/14 season. Here’s a reminder of his career achievements, and a look at what he’s doing now.
Which clubs did Nicolas Anelka play for?
Nicolas Anelka played for a variety of the world’s top clubs during his career.
After beginning his career at Paris Saint-Germain, Anelka signed for Arsenal in 1997.
A successful first season saw Arsenal win a Premier League and FA Cup double in 1998, with Anelka scoring the second goal in a 2-0 win against Newcastle to clinch the cup.
Anelka scored 17 league goals and was named PFA young player of the year in his second season, but it wasn’t enough to retain the Gunners League and cup crowns.
He moved to Real Madrid in 1999, but despite vital goals in EL Classico and in both legs of the 2000 Champions League Semi-final, on route to winning the trophy, Anelka fell out of favour.
After a short spell back in Paris, Anelka joined Liverpool in the 2001/02 season on loan, contributing to a second place league finish. However, he wasn’t offered a permanent deal.
He signed for Manchester City, who were then managed by Kevin Keegan, in 2002.
The Frenchman contributed goals in famous wins against Manchester United in the last Manchester derby at Maine road, as well as two away to former club Liverpool, as newly-promoted City qualified for Europe.
He followed this with an impressive 16 league goals in the clubs first season at what is now the Etihad stadium.
Anelka handed Jose Mourinho his first defeat as Chelsea manager in 2004, scoring a penalty in a 1-0 win. It was Chelsea’s only league defeat of the season.
Anelka left City for Fenebache in January 2005, but returned to English football in August 2006 with Bolton.
After helping Bolton qualify for the UEFA Cup in 2007, Anelka continued his fine scoring form for the club, which attracted interest from Chelsea, who he signed for in January 2008.
A slow start to his Chelsea career saw him reduced to mostly substitute appearances, and he had the decisive penalty saved in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final to hand Manchester United their third European crown.
Anelka bounced back from this by winning the Premier League golden boot in 2008/09, scoring 19 league goals.
He was also a vital part of Chelsea’s 2009 FA Cup triumph, scoring four goals on the run to the final.
The 2009/10 season was even more successful, with the Frenchman forming a prolific partnership with Didier Drogba, scoring 15 goals in all competitions as The Blues won their first League and FA Cup double.
Anelka scored a huge goal in the early stages of the vital match against Wigan on the last day of that season.
Needing a win to be champions, a half-volley in the sixth minute eased the London clubs nerves, as they raced to victory.
He also scored in the second half of the 8-0 win, a spectacular volley into the ground that beat Wigan goalkeeper Mike Pollitt as Chelsea secured their fourth league title.
He played the full 90 minutes as Chelsea retained the FA Cup with a 1-0 win against Portsmouth in the final.
The 2010/11 season saw Chelsea fair to retain the title, despite being top in November of that year.
Anelka was Chelsea’s top scorer with 16 goals in all competitions, as they finished second behind Manchester United.
After scoring in Chelsea’s first home match of the 2011/12 season against West Brom, Anelka failed to score again for The Blues, and joined Shanghai Shenhua on a free transfer in December 2011.
After unsuccessful spells in China and at Serie A club Juventus, Anelka joined West Brom on a free transfer.
What happened to Nicolas Anelka?
Anelka’s spell at West Brom was unsuccessful, scoring only two goals in his 12 appearances for the club.
In a 3-3 draw away to West Ham, Anelka performed a controversial gesture after celebrating a goal.
The quenelle gesture was seen by the FA as an anti-Semitic gesture, and was banned for five games and fined £80,000.
Anelka said the gesture meant anti-establishment, and soon left West Brom.
Is Nicolas Anelka still playing football?
Anelka retired in 2015 after a spell with Mumbai City in the Indian Super League.
In 2020 a Netflix documentary called Misunderstood was released looking at his life and playing career.
His last role in football was as the sporting director of fourth-tier French club Hyeres. He left in 2021.
Is Nicolas Anelka married and does he have any children?
Anelka has been married to Barbara Anelka Tausia, a Belgian choreographer and dancer, since 2007.
Together, they have had three children, named Kais, Kahil and Lina.