A Closer Look At Nicolas Anelka

If you find yourself stumped on a football question in a pub quiz, the answer could well be Nicolas Anelka. One of the game’s most successful journeymen, let us take a look back at the Frenchman’s career. The list of top European clubs the striker has played for is almost endless: PSG, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, Fenerbahce, Chelsea, Juventus and Bolton. Okay, maybe not Bolton, although he did lead the Trotters into the UEFA Cup for only the second time in the club’s history.

It’s all well and good playing for big clubs, but without success it means nothing.  PSG and Manchester City had nowhere near the financial wealth they now boast during his time at each club, although he did win the Intertoto Cup in 2001 during his second spell in the French capital.  Twenty games on loan at Liverpool ended without a trophy, in stark contrast to his recent stint at Juventus, where he formed part of the squad that won the Scudetto despite only two Serie A appearances.

Anelka captured both the Premier League and FA Cup with Arsenal in 1998, winning the world’s oldest football competition twice more with Chelsea over a decade later as well as another top flight title.  He reached the pinnacle of club football relatively early in his career by lifting the European Cup with Real Madrid as a 21-year-old.  Five years later he was playing in the competition for Fenerbahce, who he won a Super Lig title with immediately after joining in 2005.

Part of France’s Euro 2000-winning squad, there a few things missing from the striker’s CV.  Confusion recently surrounded his future after being granted compassionate leave by his new club West Brom, but hopefully Anelka can come back stronger and remind us why he has so many winners’ medals.