Here’s Nicolas Anelka (32) scoring a mere 60 seconds in to his debut for Chinese club side Shanghai Shenhua in a pre-season friendly against league rivals Hunan Xiangtao. The former Chelsea man may look like he’s having a kick-about down the local, poorly-maintained park but that’s probably because they’re using all their money to cover his $300,000 a week wages. We managed to get him on the phone briefly to give us a few words about how his move to China has been going so far.
Hi Nicolas, thanks for taking this call. So how are things going for you so far?
“Well, it’s a good level of football and I’m helping to promote the game in this region. I’m learning how to use chopsticks and nobody calls me Le Sulk, or if they do it doesn’t matter because I can’t speak Chinese. I start every game and I don’t have to get changed beside Drogba anymore. He kept drinking my Lucozade Sport and he didn’t even finish it and I can’t drink it after it’s touched his mouth, so I had to throw it in the bin. Which was a waste. The people are really friendly and it’s great learning about a new culture.”
So it’s about more than just the money?
“What? No, that’s pretty much the only reason I’m here.”
“Yeah all that other stuff was a lie. I’ve been using forks the whole time.”