Nicolas Anelka (born 14 March 1979 in Versailles) is a French
football player, playing in the forward position, currently for
Previous clubs he has played for include Paris Saint-Germain
(1996-97, 2000-02), Arsenal (1997-99), Real Madrid (1999-2000),
Liverpool (2002) and Manchester City (2002-2005). He has played
for Fenerbahçe since 2005.
At the age of 17, he joined Arsenal in November 1996 soon after
the appointment of Arsene Wenger as manager. His first team
opportunities were limited in the 1996-97 season but in 1997-98
he broke into the first team and was a key player in the
Premiership/FA Cup double success. In 1998-99 he won the PFA
Young Player of the Year Award, but Arsenal lost defence of
their double to Manchester United and Anelka was transferred to
Spanish league champions Real Madrid.
Anelka spent just one season at Real Madrid, being in their
European Cup winning squad, before leaving to begin his second
spell at Paris St Germain in the summer of 2000.
After one season at Paris St Germain, Anelka returned to the
English Premiership, signing a one-year loan deal with
Liverpool. But he failed to hold down a regular first team place
and rejected Gerard Houllier's offer of a permanent deal.
Instead he opted to join newly promoted Manchester City and the
£12million fee paid by manager Kevin Keegan was a club record.
In his third season at Manchester City, the addition of Anelka
to the club's squad hardly made a drastic difference to its
playing fortunes. They finished ninth in 2002-03, 16th in
2003-04 and midway through the 2004-05 season they were looking
set for a mid table finish at best. There was increasing
speculation as to whether Anelka was going to be transferred to
a bigger club.
On January 27, 2005, the speculation ended when Man City
announced that it had agreed to a fee for Anelka's transfer to
Turkish power Fenerbahçe.
Anelka has not been called up for international duty since 2002,
since a fallout with the coach at the time, Jacques Santini,
when he snubbed a call up for a friendly.