Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka has lifted the lid on his World Cup blow-up with France coach Raymond Domenech. He was expelled from the French camp after the spat which occurred at half-time of the Group A match against Mexico on June 16, with Anelka claiming the argument centred over his positioning on the pitch.
Anelka recalled to France Soir: "We returned to the dressing room and, for five minutes, the players talked. The coach arrived and said to me: 'Damn, Nico, I've told you to stop dropping back and stay up front'.
"I told him if I stay there, I do not get a touch of the ball, and said: 'Stop telling me to stay up front. I won't stay up front'.
"It carried on, but at that moment my head was gone. I wasn't even listening to what he said."
Domenech's immediate reaction, Anelka claims, was to dismiss him from the squad despite the efforts of captain Patrice Evra to pacify both parties.
"I said: 'No problem, deal with your team'.
"Pat (Evra) and Franck (Ribery) were next to me and they said: 'Stop, Nico, calm down. Let it go, shut up!' Then Pat asked me to put my jersey back on and said to the coach that these things happen all the time, that he should not react on a whim and make me leave. Again, the coach didn't listen and made his changes."