The former striker had a fleeting and unsuccessful passage through the white club in which he neither adapted nor received him as they should, he explains.
Nicolas Anelka he never leaves anyone indifferent and he did not do so at the premiere of the documentary about his life, where he speaks openly about his professional career from its origins, when he stood out in PSG, up to the outrage that starred before the technician of the French team, Raymond Domenech, at South Africa World Cup 2010.
But it’s when he talks about Real Madrid the price of bread goes up. The white club acquired its services in 1999 in exchange for 24.5 million euros that it paid to Arsenal, in what was a galactic signing before Florentino Pérez began to incorporate world stars every summer. Anelka, who was then 21 years old, did not experience an easy adaptation to the wardrobe at the Santiago Bernabéu or his new teammates.
“After the press conference, I went to the locker room” he recalls to expand that “I came first, I sat down, but the players would come up to me and say: ‘That’s my place’ while I said: ‘Oh, sorry, can I sit here? ‘And another player would appear saying,’ That’s my place. ‘” The striker says that “it happened maybe twenty times and I just thought: ‘What am I doing here? This is going to be hostile.’ What I experienced that day was just the beginning of the nightmare,” he revealed.
Perhaps for this reason it took Anelka five months to debut as a scorer with the Real Madrid shirt. “There was so much pressure …” he recalls to recall that “he was in the press every day, he couldn’t have a private life and he couldn’t do anything.” After all, “you are 20 years old, you cannot walk on the street, everything you do is discussed, everything you buy is in the newspapers the next day,” he says.
Anelka, however, managed to make his debut as a scorer in a Classic against Barcelona, but he could not become the undisputed starter and returned to the substitute bank, which caused his anger and stopped going to practice. On his return, the forward found a hostile locker room because “going back to training was really difficult because the players were against me.”
Of course, according to Anelka “I helped Madrid win their eighth Champions League title and I am proud of that. I did not do much. I did very little at Real Madrid. I would have liked to do much more but I did not have the opportunity.”
For Anelka, “if you want to play for Real Madrid, you have to make sacrifices, but I was too young to understand it, there are things I shouldn’t have said or done”, and he concludes that “it was too early in my career, maybe too much soon”.
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