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Chelsea's Anelka: I could still be in Liverpool colours

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka has defended his brothers, Claude and Didier, for their roles in a career which has spanned eight clubs.

"One lives in Miami and the other one stayed in Madrid," Anelka told the Daily Mail.

"The stuff about my brothers is, how do you say, legend. I think it was said because I was young and I don't think people could believe that someone so young could decide they wanted to move. So they tried to suggest it was my two older brothers influencing me.

"But when I had to leave Paris Saint Germain and move to Arsenal, I made the decision.

"It was the same when I left Arsenal. You can ask Arsene Wenger. He came to me and asked me if I wanted to go to Real Madrid. I said I did. And my brothers were not there. Real Madrid was the biggest club in the world at the time and I wanted to move there.

"When Michael Owen went to Real Madrid it was okay. When David Beckham went to Real Madrid no one turned on him. But when I went it was like I had killed someone.

"And yet one year later Petit and Overmars went to Barcelona and nothing like that happened to them. And remember, Arsenal bought me for £500,000 and sold me for £23m. I don't think I did anything wrong.'

Anelka insists his brothers have only ever acted on his wishes. But at 29, which he was yesterday, he now accepts it might not have been wise to move on.

"I was very young at Arsenal and at Real Madrid and maybe I didn't realise the chance I had," he says.

"At that age you have nothing in your life to measure it against and you don't think so much about the future.

"It wasn't my intention to play for eight clubs in 10 years. I didn't want to move again and again and there were times when I wanted to stay where I was. Had Liverpool wanted to sign me on a permanent deal I think I would still be there."

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Tribal Football Staff

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