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Nicolas Sebastien Anelka (born 14 March 1979 in Versailles) is a French football who currently plays as a striker for Chelsea in the English Premier League. Anelka is also a regular starter for the French national team. Carlo Ancelotti describes him 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, a record fee, but he did not settle in well and returned to Paris Saint-Germain in a £20 million deal. Despite regular first team football in Parismarker, Anelka set his eyes upon the English Premier League once more; he went on loan to Liverpool in January 2002 but joined Manchester City for £13 million for the start of the 2002–03 season.

After three seasons in Manchester he moved to Fenerbahçemarker for a season 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.

Anelka has played many times at international level and won his first international honours with France at Euro 2000, and won the 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.

During his transfers over the years, he has built an aggregate transfer cost of just under £90 million, making him the second most expensive player overall, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo


Born Nicolas Sebastien Anelka in Versailles, his parents are from Martiniquemarker. His brother Claude is his agent and his wife Barbara Tausia is the front woman for the Italian dance band Eu4ya.

Club career

Paris Saint-Germain

Anelka started his career at Paris Saint-Germain as a youth player and was said to have great potential for striking a ball and to score goals.


In February 1997, at the age of 17, he joined English Premier League club Arsenal for a fee of £500,000 under newly appointed manager Arsène Wenger. Anelka scored his first goal for Arsenal against Manchester United in a 3–2 home win. His first team opportunities were limited in the 1996–97 season, but in the 1997–98 season, he broke into the first team, after a long-term injury to striker Ian Wright. Anelka was a key player in Arsenal's "Double" win, of both the Premier League championship and the FA Cup trophy that season. Anelka scored the second goal in Arsenal's 2–0 win over Newcastle United in that season's FA Cup final.

A player with exceptional pace, he won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award in the 1998–99 season, but Arsenal failed to defend their Premiership title and made little progress in the UEFA Champions League, while Anelka wanted a better salary. Fans turned on the striker amid transfer speculation and a perceived lack of enthusiasm, giving him the nickname "Le Sulk." In all he made 90 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 28 goals.

Real Madrid

He transferred to Real Madrid in the summer of 1999 for £22.3 million. Anelka began brightly, arriving as a record signing to the Madrid side. He had initial success, but soon fell out of favour with fans, fellow players, and new coach Vicente del Bosque, at one point receiving a 45-day suspension for refusing to train. Despite eventually returning to favour and figuring in the successful capture of the 1999-00 Champions League campaign (he scored vital goals in both legs of the semi-finals against Bayern Munich and started in the final), he was surplus to the requirements to the club.

Return to Paris-Saint Germain, loan to Liverpool, and Manchester City

Anelka signed a professional contract at Paris Saint-Germain, a return to the club at which he used to play as a youth player, in a transfer deal worth £20 million. After 30 months, Anelka returned to the English Premiership in December 2001 with 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 Roversmarker, Ipswich Town, and in the FA Cup against Birmingham City, but manager Gérard Houllier decided not to offer him a permanent deal after the end of the season in favour of signing his future Bolton teammate El Hadji Diouf. Nevertheless, he was placed 96th in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop. Anelka opted to join newly promoted Manchester City, and the £13 million fee paid by manager Kevin Keegan was a club record.


In January 2005, the speculation ended when Manchester City announced that Anelka had completed a £7 million transfer to Turkishmarker team Fenerbahçemarker. Anelka helped the Turkish club win the league title in 2005. In August of that same year, there was considerable speculation in the press that Anelka was being courted by Newcastle United for a return to English football, although the transfer never came about. Anelka stayed on at the Turkish club where he played with them in the UEFA Champions League.

During the summer transfer window of 2006, press reports once again linked Anelka with a return to English football. Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp was allegedly willing to either pay £8.2 million to bring the striker to Fratton Parkmarker, or take him on a season long loan.

Bolton Wanderers

On 25 August 2006, Bolton Wanderers signed Anelka on a four-year deal for a club record of £8 million. Anelka made his debut for Bolton against Watford on 9 September 2006. He finished the 2006–07 season as Bolton's top scorer with 11 goals.

During January 2007, Anelka stated that he would be willing to leave Bolton for a return to former club Arsenal. However, Anelka pledged his future to Bolton Wanderers 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 continues. However, Anelka signed a new four year contract with Bolton on 30 August, which would expire in 2011.

Despite his departure to Chelsea, he is still well thought of by Bolton supporters as was demonstrated when the Blues visited the Reebok Stadiummarker in October 2009, Anelka went to take a set piece in front of the Trotters faithful who chanted his name with the player himself responding in appreciation.



Anelka with Chelsea
On 11 January 2008, it was confirmed that Anelka would join Chelsea for £15 million. Anelka made his 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. This was generally attributed to the fact that manager Avram Grant used him mainly as a substitute or played him in a wing position.

In the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, Anelka's seventh and decisive penalty was stopped by Edwin van der Sar, ultimately resulting in Manchester United winning the Champions League. On 3 August 2008, Anelka scored four goals against AC Milan in a 5–0 friendly win.


With Didier Drogba injured at the beginning of the season, Anelka made a very impressive start to the 2008–09 campaign. He scored 25 times — 19 of which in the Premier League, making the Frenchman the first player to reach 10 goals in the competition that season and as of 18/05/09, the joint top leading Premiership goalscorer. For this, he was awarded with a Barclays Golden Boot Award on 14 November 2008 and is in the running for the end of season Golden Boot accolade. 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 Roversmarker, 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 amongst 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 Roadmarker. On 10 May, he scored one goal and set up another in a 4–1 away win against former club Arsenal, which resulted in their worst home defeat for 38 years. A powerful strike in Chelsea's final Premier League game of the season at Sunderland put him as top goal scorer for the season in the Premiership, earning him the Golden Boot with 19 goals in total.


Anelka scored his first goal of the Premier League Season against West London rivals Fulham in a 2-0 win at Craven Cottagemarker, 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 UEFA Champions League group stage in the 1-0 victory over FC Porto.Anelka scored one of the best goals of his season, against APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League with the ball being passed in to the net from outside the box. Anelka has been praised for his contributions to the team since Didier Drogba received a 3 match ban in the Champions League, for his outburst after the disappointing draw to Barcelona in May.Anelka scored his 3rd League goal of the season against Liverpool at Stamford bridge in a 2-0 win with the second goal coming from team-mate Florent Malouda. Anelka continued his fine scoring run in the Champions League with the winner in the 1-0 victory over FC Porto at the Estadio Dragao, making Chelsea only the second ever English side to win at Porto's home ground.

International career

At youth level, Anelka played for the French under-20 team at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, and made his senior team debut for France in a goal-less draw with Sweden on 22 April 1998. Anelka made his first appearance in a major tournament at Euro 2000; France went on to win the competition. 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 2001–2007 as he was not playing much first team football at club level; mainly due to the fact that he was frequently transferred between clubs. When striker Djibril Cissé was forced out of 2006 FIFA World Cup due to injury, Olympique Lyonnais' 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 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, and is now one of Raymond Domenech's first-choice strikers, forming France's number one attacking partnership with Thierry Henry.

Anelka featured in the France squad for the Euro 2008 Championships in Austriamarker and Switzerlandmarker. 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.

Nicholas was the man France depended on in their FIFA World Cup playoff against the Republic of Ireland. He scored the winning goal in the 72nd minute that put France in a good position with one away goal.


Anelka is married to Barbara Tausia, a Belgianmarker choreographer, and enjoys playing tennis in his free time. Together, they have a son. 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 Asterix. 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."

After discussing religion with some childhood friends, Anelka converted to Islam in 2004 in the United Arab Emiratesmarker, taking the Muslim name of Abdul-Salam Bilal. Initially, Anelka considered leaving European football to play in the U.A.E.: "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 Turkeymarker instead.


Club performance

As of 2009-10-10.

International goals

Career honours




Real Madrid

Paris Saint-Germain





  2. Portsmouth Close To Securing Transfer Deal With Fenerbahçe For Former Liverpool, Arsenal & Man City Striker Nicolas Anelka | Premiership Latest Football News
  3. Sunderland 2-3 Chelsea. BBC Sport. Retrieved on 2009-05-24.
  4. UEFA Profile. UEFA. Retrieved on 2009-04-06.
  5. Daily Express: The World's Greatest Newspaper :: Other Sport :: Ronaldo rejoices
  6. Final squads announced for EURO UEFA Euro 2008, 2008-05-28
  7. Canny Romania leave France frustrated UEFA Euro 2008, retrieved on 2008-06-18.
  8. Dominant Dutch progress in style UEFA Euro 2008, retrieved on 2008-06-18.
  9. France sunk as Italy grab lifeline UEFA Euro 2008, retrieved on 2008-06-18.
  10. Chelsea: The players. The Guardian (2008-05-20). Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  11. Football - Knowledge: has a journalist ever won an international cap? | Football |
  12. Taylor, Louise (2007-02-14). How Big Sam and Allah made Le Sulk smile. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  13. Moxley, Neil (2007-10-28). I pray five times a day, the boys call me beardo...I'll live with it. The Daily Mail. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  14. Stammers, Steve (2004-06-10). Muslim Anelka to quit England. This is London. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.

External links

1995-96 Paris Saint-Germain Division 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1996-97 8 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 10 1

1996-97 Arsenal Premier League 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
1997-98 26 6 9 3 3 0 2 0 40 9
1998-99 35 17 5 0 0 0 5 1 45 18

1999-00 Real Madrid La Liga 19 2 0 0 0 0 9 2 28 4

2000-01 Paris Saint-Germain Division 1 27 8 0 0 1 0 9 5 37 13
2001-02 12 2 0 0 0 0 7 3 19 5

2001-02 Liverpool Premier League 20 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 22 5
2002-03 Manchester City Premier League 38 14 1 0 2 0 0 0 41 14
2003-04 32 16 4 4 2 0 5 4 43 25
2004-05 19 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 7

2004-05 Fenerbahçemarker Super League 14 4 2 0 - 2 0 18 4
2005-06 25 10 6 2 - 6 0 37 12
2006-07 0 0 0 0 - 2 0 2 0

2006-07 Bolton Wanderers Premier League 35 11 3 0 1 1 0 0 39 12
2007-08 18 10 0 0 0 0 4 1 22 11
2007-08 Chelsea Premier League 14 1 3 1 2 0 5 0 24 2
2008-09 35 19 4 4 0 0 12 2 51 25
2009-10 11 3 0 0 0 0 6 3 16 7
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. October 10, 1998 Moscow, Russia 1-0 3-2 Euro 2000 qualification
2. February 10, 1999 London, England 1-0 2-0 Friendly match
3. February 10, 1999 London, England 2-0 2-0 Friendly match
4. June 6, 2000 Casablancamarker, Moroccomarker 4-1 5-1 Friendly match
5. August 16, 2000 Marseillemarker, France FIFAmarker XI 5-0 5-1 Exhibition match
6. May 30, 2001 Daegumarker, Korea 3-0 5-0 2001 Confederations Cup
7. November 9, 2005 Fort-de-Francemarker, France 1-2 3-2 Friendly match
8. October 11, 2006 Sochaux, France 3-0 5-0 Euro 2008 qualification
9. March 24, 2007 Kaunasmarker, Lithuaniamarker 1-0 1-0 Euro 2008 qualification
10. June 2, 2007 Saint-Denis, France 2-0 2-0 Euro 2008 qualification
11. October 13, 2007 Torshavnmarker, Faroe Islandsmarker 1-0 6-0 Euro 2008 qualification
12. September 11, 2008 Stade de Francemarker, Paris 2-1 2-1 2010 World Cup Qualifying
13. October 10, 2009 Stade de Francemarker, Paris 3-0 5-0 2010 World Cup Qualifying
14. November 14, 2009 Croke Parkmarker, Dublin 1-0 1-0 2010 World Cup Qualifying

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