Anelka 'would have quit France anyway'

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The Independent Football

The France striker, Nicolas Anelka, has said that his 18-match ban from international football that followed his World Cup expulsion did not cause his international retirement, as he was planning to quit anyway.

The Chelsea forward was sent home in disgrace from South Africa last summer after insulting then-manager Raymond Domenech, and was subsequently banned for 18 games by the French Football Federation, after which he announced his retirement.

But the 31-year-old insists he had already made his own mind up. "The truth is that I told Domenech before the World Cup that I'd quit France after the competition whatever was to happen there," he said.