Did Nicolas Anelka fulfil the immense potential that he showed during the early years of his career?
It’s a question that is likely to split football fans down the middle.
While the Frenchman enjoyed a very good career - playing for some of the biggest clubs in Europe including Arsenal, Real Madrid and Chelsea, winning several major honours along the way - there will always be a feeling of ‘could he achieved even more?’
Anelka was a phenomenally gifted forward but his attitude was often called into question and he tended to rub both managers and teammates up the wrong way. He was never able to settle at any one club for too long.
Blessed with incredible pace, underrated technique and a deadly eye for goal, Anelka could - and probably should - have become one of the best forwards of his generation.
Nevertheless, as well as his respectable achievements at club level, Anelka also represented the French national team on 69 occasions, scoring 14 goals.
Two of those goals were netted when he was aged just 19 years old against England at Wembley back in February 1999.
Anelka did something we've never seen before
During that match, Anelka did something that we’ve never seen any outfield player do before.
He wore goalkeeper gloves throughout the entire match.
It sounds ridiculous but it’s absolutely true.
You can watch the bizarre footage for yourself here…
Considering Anelka scored a brace - both goals in a 2-0 win for Les Bleus - perhaps he should have worn goalkeeper gloves during matches more often.
Nobody knows why, unfortunately
Now, you’re probably wondering why Anelka wore goalkeeper gloves against England.
Well, the truth is nobody knows. It seems he was keen to keep his hands warm on a chilly winter’s night in London, which is perfectly understandable - but why ‘keeper gloves?
“Had L'Enfant Terrible wanted to set a trend in a city preparing for that month’s London Fashion Week by bizarrely wearing goalkeeping gloves, he failed,” FIFA wrote on their website in 2012. “Anelka did, however, certainly look the part in footballing terms.”
Has another outfield player ever worn goalkeeper gloves during a match before? Let us know by leaving a comment below.News Now - Sport News