16 Sep 2014

Anelka to play in India

6:35 am on 16 September 2014

The controversial French striker Nicolas Anelka has sought to relaunch his football career by signing to play for Mumbai City in the Indian Super League.

French footballer Nicolas Anelka

French footballer Nicolas Anelka Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 35-year-old much-travelled player has been without a club since he was fired by West Bromwich Albion in March for "gross misconduct" after the quenelle row when he made an alleged anti-semitic gesture after scoring a goal.

One of the most controversial players currently active in world football, Anelka has stirred up a succession of rows and disputes in a career that has seen him play for the likes of Arsenal, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Shanghai Shenhua in China.

He also won 69 French caps, scoring 14 goals before being thrown out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa following a row with coach Raymond Domenech.

He was handed an 18-match ban for that bustup, that effectively ended his international career.

He will be playing in the Indian Super League which kicks off with a 10-week tournament beginning in October and modelled along the lines of cricket's cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL).

Eight city-based teams are due to take part in the tournament and several of the franchises have tie-ups with European football giants such as La Liga champions Atletico Madrid who are the co-owners of Atletico Kolkata.

Other fading superstars of football already signed up for the tournament include Italian Alessandro del Piero, French striker David Trezeguet and English goalkeeper David James.