Nicolas Anelka not missing international duty

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka does not miss international football and insists he has no plans to come out of retirement for Euro 2012 once he completes his 18-match ban.

Anelka was given the hefty sentence last August for his role in the controversial mutiny against France head coach Raymond Domenech at the World Cup.

Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery have both served bans for their part in the protest against Domenech's reign and are now playing for Les Bleus again.

Former Arsenal and Manchester City striker Anelka admitted last summer that he wanted to quit international football despite the departure of Domenech, who has been replaced by Laurent Blanc.

Anelka's ban is due to come to an end just before Euro 2012 and France are on course to qualify for the tournament in Poland and the Ukraine after picking up 12 points to top Group D after five games.

Should Les Bleus qualify, Anelka would not be willing to add to the 69 caps he already holds as he thinks he is better off outside the international arena.

"I don't miss it, I am glad to be out of it (international football)," Anelka told Chelsea's website.

"Of course it can help to not play, you play less games so it is perfect to be off and to think about something else for one or two weeks then come back fresh to the club.

"You get some family life, go to Paris, wherever you want with your family, it is perfect, but I used to be like this when I played for City and in the beginning at Bolton, so I know this situation and I like it. I really don't think about the national team or playing games."

Chelsea travel to Stoke on Saturday looking to keep up their title challenge in the first match after the international break.

The Blues then host Manchester United in the first leg of the club's Champions League quarter-final clash on Wednesday.

Anelka admits the draw could not have been much harder for Chelsea, but concedes that they will have to overcome the best sides on the continent to become European champions for the first time in their history.

"We know them (United) but I don't think it's a good draw because they are a good team and difficult to beat with a lot of quality players," Anelka said.

"But, if you want to win the Champions League you have to beat good teams.

"These two games with Manchester United will feel like Premier League games, we have already played them in so many games so these will be the same, and we will just have to see what happens."

Chelsea were given a big lift ahead of their end of season run-in when Yossi Benayoun came through 20 minutes of Israel's 1-0 win over Georgia on Tuesday.

It was the midfielder's first appearance since suffering an Achilles injury in September and he has now targeted a place in Carlo Ancelotti's starting XI.

"I was just so happy when the coach told me I could get back on the pitch again after so long out," Benayoun told reporters after the Israel match.

"I knew I couldn't have played for 90 minutes but felt I could play for 20 or 30 at a high level.

"I can't wait to start a game again."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal
football
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own