Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insisted Nicolas Anelka has never caused him a moment's bother - and he blasted the French Football Federation for giving him an 18-match ban.
The 31-year-old received the draconian suspension, which applies to France games only, after being sent home from the World Cup following a reported bust-up with coach Raymond Domenech.
"He is a very good man. I have never had a problem with him," said Ancelotti. "I was very surprised at this behaviour during the World Cup. If I have to think of one player who would shout at me, Anelka would be the last."
He added: "He likes his job, he loves football. He has fantastic skills but he doesn't like publicity and he has character. He never missed training last year.
"I think it was unfair for him - 18 games is too much. Anelka is an honest man and he didn't deserve the decision. He has reacted very well. He has taken it with good spirit."
Anelka blasted the FFF as "clowns" and laughed off the ban, insisting he had already retired from international football.
"It is good news for myself because he can stay here to train during the international break, he can maintain a good condition," said Ancelotti.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms