Nicolas Anelka’s refusal to train with Real Madrid after his team-mates failed to celebrate his goals has been revealed by former manager Vicente Del Bosque.
The French striker joined the Spanish giants in 1999 and went on to score 19 goals in his first season, but his time at the club was marred by a lack of support from his team-mates.
Del Bosque, who was in charge of the club from 1999 to 2003, has now revealed that Anelka was so frustrated by the lack of support that he refused to train with the team.
Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Del Bosque said: “Anelka was a great player, but he was very sensitive. He was very hurt when his team-mates didn’t celebrate his goals.
“He was so hurt that he refused to train with the team. He was a great player, but he was very sensitive.”
Anelka’s time at Real Madrid was short-lived and he left the club in 2000 after just one season. He went on to have a successful career at a number of clubs, including Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion.
The former France international retired from football in 2015 after a brief spell with Mumbai City in the Indian Super League.
Anelka’s refusal to train with Real Madrid is just one of many stories that have emerged from Del Bosque’s time in charge of the club.
The former manager also revealed that he had to deal with a number of difficult personalities during his time at the club, including Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldo.
Del Bosque said: “I had to deal with a lot of difficult personalities. Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo, they all had their own ideas and opinions.
“It was a difficult job, but I managed to keep them all together and we won two Champions League titles.”
Del Bosque’s time at Real Madrid was a success and he is widely regarded as one of the best managers in the club’s history.
He won two Champions League titles, two La Liga titles and two Spanish Super Cups during his four-year spell in charge of the club.
Anelka’s refusal to train with Real Madrid may have been a sign of his frustration at the lack of support from his team-mates, but it is clear that Del Bosque was able to keep the team together and lead them to success.