Nicolas Sébastien Anelka (born 14 March 1979) is a French footballer who is currently a player and assistant manager of Shanghai Shenhua. Anelka was also a regular starter for the French national team. Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has described 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 at the time, but he did not settle in well and returned to Paris Saint-Germain in a £20 million deal. Despite regular first team football in Paris, Anelka set his eyes upon the Premier League once more; he went on loan to Liverpool in January 2002 but joined Manchester City for £13 million at the start of the 2002–03 season.
After three seasons in Manchester, he moved to Fenerbahçe for two seasons 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. During his transfers over the years, he has built an aggregate transfer cost of just under £90 million. On 12 December 2011, Shanghai Shenhua announced that they have reached an agreement with Anelka to join the team when the winter transfer window opens.
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. On 19 June 2010, Anelka was excluded by the French Football Federation from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa for "comments directed against the national coach, Raymond Domenech, unacceptable to the FFF, French football, and the principles they uphold." Two months later, having failed to turn up to his disciplinary hearing, he was banned for France's next eighteen games by the FFF, effectively ending his international career.
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“Living is a sickness to which sleep provides relief every sixteen hours. Its a palliative. The remedy is death.”
—Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (17411794)