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The France Fallout: Anelka says players were united

  • AP, Friday, July 16, 2010 2:54 AM

Nicolas Anelka, who was at the epicenter of France's implosion in South Africa, said the team's revolt against Coach Raymond Domenech was supported by all the players, who boycotted training after Anelka was kicked off the team for an expletive-laced tirade at Domenech.

The striker said “everybody stuck together" and "If there were some players who wanted to train (when the squad went on strike), they should speak now,. If I had not started it, it would have been somebody else. The situation was explosive.”

The loose-cannon Anelka also shot back at Bixente Lizarazu, who won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship with Les Bleus and is now a TV pundit. Lizarazu criticized France’s poor level of play in South Africa.

“Lizarazu, who’s he?” Anelka said. “Because when he speaks, it sounds like he is a living legend. Did he forget the 2002 World Cup? ...  He should stop speaking about respect because we all remember when he slapped his captain at Bayern Munich during a training session.” (France exited in the first round in 2002.)

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