Nicolas Anelka: Five Facts About the Controversial Striker
Nicolas Anelka has sought to relaunch his career by signing to play for Mumbai City - his 12th club - in the nascent Indian Super League.
Former French international Nicolas Anelka on Monday joined his 12th club in a much-travelled career. Here are five facts on the controversial 35-year-old striker:
-- Anelka is making his return to football after leaving West Bromwich Albion in England over his use of the 'quenelle' gesture which many regard as being anti-semetic. The English FA banned him for five games for the gesture.
-- Since 1996, the Frenchman has played twice for Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, Fenerbahce, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Shanghai Shenhua, Juventus and West Brom.
-- He played 69 times for France and famously was the player sent home from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa for a bustup with coach Raymond Domenech, sparking a player strike. Anelka was also given a lengthy ban at Real Madrid for refusing to train but returned to play a key role in their Champions League winning side in 2000. (Also Read: Anelka Confident ISL Will be Thrilling)
-- Despite his temperament, at his peak Anelka was one of the most brilliant strikers in international football and has scored more than 200 goals in all competitions.
-- The footballer converted to Islam in 2004 and reportedly adopted the name Abdul Salam Bilal. "It keeps me calmer and more stable on and off the pitch," he said in one 2009 interview.