Chelsea's £15 million is eager to renew acquaintances with the Champions League as he prepares to face Olympiacos tonight.
"At first it was very difficult for me to play at a smaller club but I never gave up. I worked hard when I played for Manchester City, Bolton, even in Fenerbahce. I got back into the [France] national team.
"There is not extra motivation now because, when you play in the Premier League, you have motivation all of the time but the difference at Chelsea is that you are fighting for all the trophies. You have a lot of big games and that is more motivation in itself. My biggest dream is to win the Champions League and the title. For me it would be beautiful. We are in the race for all the trophies and we will try to win everything."
Anelka was dubbed The Incredible Sulk at Arsenal but at the age of 28 he approaches his re-entry into the Champions League with greater maturity.
"I was very young in the past at Arsenal, at Real Madrid as well," he said. "But I think that 28 is a good age to be in a big club and to play big games. I think I could have stayed at a big club and played Champions League every year. I didn't because I left [Real] but I could have been a much better player than now. When you play with big players, you have more quality and I could have been better. But it's in the past now."