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Rio Ferdinand recently completed a return to the Premier league after signing a one-year contract with QPR. The 35-year-old defender was a free agent after leaving Manchester United at the end of last season. Once the most expensive defender in English football after his £ 31 million transfer from Leeds United, Ferdinand is on his last legs with regard to his playing career. However, he clearly feels that he can play at the top and this is one of the reasons for coming to QPR. Despite being 35 and being marginalised that Manchester United, Ferdinand has revealed that he could have stayed at the Premier League giant.
After the sacking of David Moyes, Ryan Giggs, who was acting as the interim manager, reportedly persuaded him to stay on. However, the prospect of having to wait several matches for a few minutes on the pitch did not appeal to the former England international. At the peak of his career, he formed an impeccable partnership with the Nemanja Vidic at the back and it formed the basis for numerous title successes. Ferdinand has termed the upcoming spell with QPR as a fairytale ending to his career. The move to QPR has reunited him with Harry Redknapp, who was his manager at West Ham several years ago.
“When he (Giggs) took over he made it clear I would have stayed and been part of his plans. But in football things change quickly and the new manager came in and things went a different way. (Would you have stayed?) I made it clear (I would) but at the end of the season they told me I was leaving the club and that happens in football. I’m just happy to be here now. I started my career with Harry Redknapp at West Ham and to finish my career with him is a fairytale,” said Ferdinand.
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It was revealed a few days ago that Brazilian outfit Atlético Mineiro had come to an agreement with former Chelsea and Liverpool striker Nicolas Anelka. The striker was recently released from his contract with West Brom due to a controversial gesture he made several weeks ago. Anelka, who is famously one of the several journeyman in football, has played for several different clubs in his career that started with Arsenal. Since then, he has represented the likes of Liverpool, Manchester city, Chelsea, and Real Madrid.
At 35 years of age, it looked like he had played his last when the English FA banned him for five matches for the anti-Semitic gesture he made after scoring a goal recently. Anelka choose to end his contract with West Brom and leave England. In the last few days, the English FA have been looking to persuade FIFA to look into the incident and prevent Anelka from playing anywhere across the world. Then, Brazilian outfit Atlético Mineiro, who have former Barcelona superstar Ronaldinho in their ranks, tried to sign the player on a free transfer.
Now, they have revealed that the deal is off since the player failed to turn up and sign the contract. Anelka, meanwhile, stated that he was on a religious trip to Kuwait.
“He had the obligation to let us know about this in advance. Atlético is much bigger than this, the deal is off,” said the club director, Maluf. Atlético are now looking to complain to FIFA that the player and his agent broke several agreements. This could eventually lead to the former French international announced his retirement from football. In a career spanning several years, he managed to win league titles in different countries and with different clubs. His combined transfer fees have exceeded more than £ 80 million.
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Anelka’s quenelle hearing is reported to start soon. As per the sources, the disciplinary hearing on the French soccer star would start from the early quarter of last February.
The Frenchman came up with his quenelle gesture while celebrating his club West Brom’s win over West Ham last December. The striker’s gesture was not taken casually by Football Association and he was subjected to a 5-match ban following it. According to Football Association, the quenelle gesture is racist or anti-Semitic in nature and hence the ban. Anelka denied any signal of racism in his gesture and requested for personal hearing.
An independent 3-men regulatory panel would be meeting up soon next week to discuss the racist allegations imposed upon the West Brom striker. However, the hearing is supposed to run for several days.
The quenelle gesture is being defined as some inverted Nazi salutation & its invention is being credited to the soccer star’s friend Dieudonne M’bala, who is a leading French comedian. Dieudonne is prosecuted on the charge of anti-Semitism.
However, Anelka is firm on his stance that his very gesture on winning the match over West Ham was completely harmless, bearing no reference to racism. He maintained that his act was some anti-establishment antic that he gestured in honor of his buddy.
Dieudonne has been banned already from foraying into UK as the Home authority subjected the comedian to exclusion order. Meanwhile, “Kick it Out”, the famous campaign group have remarked that West Brom needed to act more honorable regarding the incident.
The controversial quenelle gesture has even resulted in Zoopla, Baggies’ sponsor, terminating their deal with West Brom. The contract would conclude by the season end.
It’s to see now that whether the well-travelled French striker would actually be able to save his career or not.