Nicolas Anelka To Ditch Chelsea For MLS Semi-Retirement

Chris Wright

22nd, December 2010


By Chris Wright

A quick word from Nicolas Anelka‘s brother/agent Claude this morning, in which we discover that the sullen Chelsea striker already has one eye on a lucrative move into semi-retirement in the MLS when his contract at the Bridge expires in the summer of 2012.

So said (Claude) Anelka:

“Nicolas told me he is interested in playing in the United States. We could see him crossing the Atlantic, and I’m serious when I say this. He asked himself what he will do once his current contract runs out.

“The US is quite something, and a dream destination. He says he will give it a try, even though he would earn less money than in somewhere like Qatar.”

How very earnest of him.

Posted in Chelsea, MLS, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. WendellGee says:

    Why would someone go to MLS for “semi-retirement”? In addition to being rather insulting to whichever club he would play on, MLS is a league of rash and reckless challenges by not-so-skilled, but very athletic, young guys going at full speed. And often in oppresive summer heat and humidity.

  2. Jim says:

    And a league that produced many of the players who represented the USA at World Cup 2010, you know- the one where the USA won the group with England in it?

  3. Jamesa says:

    Although I don’t like the insults from WendellGee about MLS, I do agree with the fact that it is just flat out disrespectful for these international stars to come to MLS knowign they have nothing left to give. No matter how you see the league, MLS is still growing and can do without these players who just want a pay day and do absolutely nothing for the teams they sign with. Thank God Beckham’s contract is up in 2011. Beckham, Henry, and Agnel should be the last instances we have of aging stars who think they are going to have an easy time. MLS is one of the most physically demanding leagues in the world.

  4. Matt says:

    Exactly the type of player to fail miserably in MLS.

    Anelka sulks as it is, I may actually pay to see the meltdown caused by constant physical badgering, poor referees, 3000 mile journeys for away games that kick off in weather that is 90 degrees and humid. And I say this as a big fan of MLS.

  5. shay says:

    MLS may not be up to the EPL standards but not many leagues in the world are really. For all the great players who come to the USA to “retire” none of them have exactly set the league on fire. This despite coming from so much higher “standard” places like Spain and England. Give it a rest already.

  6. HenryOwnzPool says:

    It’s true, MLS is a very athletic, physically demanding league. Some of these Euro-donnas don’t know what they are getting into. Physicality, high heat, long distances, time zone changes, it all adds up. At least we have appetizing food to refuel with. MLS is building it’s own brand of play. As the skill improves, this will become a destination league.

  7. Paul says:

    Why is it that EPL writers never miss an opportunity to make a snarky comment about MLS? You can sum it up in one word…..FEAR. Someday MLS will be a league to be reckoned with. Most of the clubs are already playing in purpose build new stadiums. With world class training grounds and other infrastructure coming on line every year. And the wealth and cultural diversity in the United States will always be attractive to players from around the world. Once the money is here, the top players will be here. And the dreary little island that the EPL calls home will be rendered irrelevent.

  8. Leslie says:

    What everyone fails to remember is that being part of a European team means playing in the Europa league an possibly the Champions League. Both require time zone changes, weather changes, and loads of travel. Not everywhere in the US is heat oppressive. Yeah the south can get up into the low 100s, but have you been to San Francisco (where it is like 56 Fahrenheit yr round) or NY. Plus less games are postponed in the US because of snow or other major weather conditions. Other American leagues like the NFL have been travelling to different cities for games, and domestic travel in the US is incredibly easy. I’m not an MLS fan because I find it boring compared to EPL, but I don’t like it when people blindly criticize it.

  9. Hirsty says:


  10. supaphil says:

    Fuck you, Ollie. MLS is better than you think it is.

  11. supaphil says:

    Fuck you, Chris.* Sorry, Ollie.

  12. AussieSAm says:

    All you americans coplaining its an insult, fine, send them to australia, id love to see them play in the a-league no matter how old. But for them the MLS would gbe like semi retirement, no use complaining about the standard isnt anytwahere near te same as in europe

  13. takemedrunki'mhome says:

    mls is a rubbish league.It is painful to watch. Give me league 2 anyday

  14. TfromZ says:

    Totally disagree with Jamesa, the MLS is full of reckless challenges and ugly goals. It seriously could use some quality players from developed leagues to stimulate improvement. Henry is a legend and Beckham brought publicity to a sport that many Americans ignored.

  15. tom says:

    Americans might not like football/soccer even though only 1 football?? player kicks the ball in the super bowl .FOOTBALL LOL.Soccer is wat kids play.HEADLESS chickens springs 2 mind

  16. Jamesa says:

    TfromZ, Americans began following soccer more because of more successful performances on the international stage. As a follower of MLS, I can tell you that Beckham did nothing more that move the bar maybe an inch from what it was before he got here. I agree, we could use more quality players, not aging stars looking for an easy pay day. These aging stars maybe talented, but as shown with Beckham and Henry, they aren’t going to do anything for the league nor will they want to in their “semi-retirement”. We want people who actually want to PLAY here. They are just looking for a place to *live*, not play and improve the game here. That’s direspectful.

  17. Dan says:

    I feel that not only are big name players coming to the MLS for what some think is an easier time on the pitch, but also a much less demanding group of supporters. MLS coverage doesn’t make the papers in cities without a team (World Cup coverage in non sport periodicals mostly only followed the US’ results as well). Having been to EPL and MLS games, I can tell you that here in the states you’re in far less danger when wearing away supporters gear, no matter what the sport. Now shit talking, thats another story, but there isn’t as much passion for the game here, and thus (slightly) less pressure on the players from the fans. You don’t hear about Donovan or Beckham’s car being firebombed outside their own home. Have a look at MLS attendance averages or television ratings compared to other sports here and you can plainly see that the majority of ‘merkins can’t be bothered, which is a real shame.

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