Anelka: Villas-Boas made me feel like an outcast at Chelsea
Nicolas Anelka was forced to train away from the Chelsea first-team until he moved to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua
Nicolas Anelka claims Andre Villas-Boas made him feel like an outcast during his final days at Chelsea before the French striker sealed a move to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in January.
The 32-year-old was Avram Grant’s first signing at Stamford Bridge in January 2008 and he scored 59 goals in 185 appearances for the London club.
But with his contract set to expire in the summer, Anelka handed in a transfer request and he was forced to train away from the first team until his move to China.
“Ever since I was punished they put me with the youngsters,” Anelka told The Sun.
“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.”