Nicolas Anelka lifts lid on Raymond Domenech row

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Nicolas Anelka has revealed the full extent of his infamous row with ex-France coach Raymond Domenech which led to him being sent home from the World Cup.

The Chelsea striker was expelled from the French camp following a dressing room bust-up with Domenech at half-time during the the Group A match against Mexico.

Domenech criticised Anelka for playing out of position and threatened to take him off during halftime of the first-round match, prompting Anelka to launch a profanity-laced tirade at the coach.

The squad subsequently revolted against Domenech, refusing to train on June 20 - just two days before their final group game against host nation South Africa - in protest at Anelka's treatment.

"My biggest regret is that I was not given the chance to play in my best position," Anelka said in an interview with France Soir.

"If the coach wanted to take a player which stays in the box, he shouldn't have picked me. He made a casting mistake."

He recalled: "We returned to the dressing room and, for five minutes, the players talked. The coach arrived and said to me: 'Damn, Nico, I've told you to stop dropping back and stay up front'.

"I told him if I stay there, I do not get a touch of the ball, and said: 'Stop telling me to stay up front. I won't stay up front.'

"It carried on, but at that moment my head was gone. I wasn't even listening to what he said."

Domenech's immediate reaction, Anelka claims, was to dismiss him from the squad despite the efforts of captain Patrice Evra to pacify both parties.

"He said: 'Go, it's fine, leave' and asked one of his assistants to get Dede (André-Pierre Gignac) ready," Anelka continued.

"I said: 'No problem, deal with your team'.

"Pat (Evra) and Franck (Ribéry) were next to me and they said: 'Stop, Nico, calm down. Let it go, shut up!'

"Then Pat asked me to put my jersey back on and said to the coach that these things happen all the time, that he should not react on a whim and make me leave.

"Again, the coach didn't listen and made his changes."


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