Chelsea news

Anelka tells of Chelsea woe

February 8, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka has spoken of his exile at Stamford Bridge, stating there are "no friends in football".

Nicolas Anelka
GettyImagesNicolas Anelka joined Shenhua from Chelsea in January

• Shanghai land Chelsea striker Anelka

Anelka, 32, was deemed not in manager Andre Villas-Boas' plans and played his final game for Chelsea in November before having a transfer request accepted.

Alongside defender Alex, who has since joined PSG, the Frenchman trained away from the first-team, and ultimately sealed a move to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.

Reflecting on the finals weeks of his time at Stamford Bridge, having joined from Bolton for £15 million in 2008, Anelka told The Sun: "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.

"One day, you can be there scoring goals and doing all you have to do for your club but the day you leave there is no pity.

"That's why the day you do decide to leave you have to do what you have to do and have no sadness either, because there are no friends in football.

"That's the truth. It's sad to say but that's the truth. It's a collective sport but it's also very individual.

"It's true that I could have had a better career but I know I've succeeded and I'm proud of that when I go back to France, back to the suburbs I came from, the guys there are proud of me.

"They know I never gave up. I took plenty of knocks but I'm still here. Shanghai is Asia's New York. I love the way they live here. I often come here on holiday. This is my last contract."