European Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Anelka signs in China, Tigres wins Mexican League, and more

NicolasAnelka (Getty)

The race to land the services of Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka is over, and Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua has emerged as the top bidder, landing Anelka on a two-year contract.

Shenhua beat out teams from Russia, Qatar, as well as MLS club Montreal Impact, for the 32-year-old French striker, with reports estimating the deal will pay Anelka more than $300,000 a week.

Montreal was in the bidding for Anelka, but was nowhere close to having a bid anywhere in the vicinity of what the journeyman striker ultimately settled on.

Here are some other stories from the weekend to get your day going:


Though the match was marred by three red cards and a shaky performance by referee Marco Rodriguez, the Mexican Apertura Final second leg between Tigres and Santos Laguna still came down to being the justified coronation of Tigres as worthy champions after a 3-1 victory and 4-1 aggregate series victory.

The title was the first in 29 years for Tigres, which finished the year unbeaten at home. After posting a 1-0 victory in Torreon in the first leg, Tigres took control early after Santos had star goalkeeper Osvaldo Sanchez sent off for a red card challenge that resulted in a penalty kick (which was subsequently saved). Santos showed some life despite being a man down, scoring early to even the series.

Tigres ultimately responded with three goals to run away with the victory, as Chilean Hector Mancilla opened the scoring and Alan Pulido provided the final tally for the home side.


Mexican club and CONCACAF representative Monterrey saw its Club World Cup appearance get off to a disappointing start after a penalty kick shootout loss to Japanese champions Kashiwa Reysol on Sunday. The victory moved Kashiwa into a semifinal showdown against South American champions Santos, and leave Monterrey with a 5th-place match to play against African champions Esperance.


Tim Ream's recent training stint with West Bromwich Albion went well enough to lead manager Roy Hodgson to express interesting in taking Ream on loan, though the chances of that actually happening are remote.

First, the New York Red Bulls would have to approve such an arrangement, something the club could be reluctant to do considering how important Ream is to the Red Bulls defense. Secondly, Ream does not automatically qualify for a UK work permit, and would have to file an appeal, something he would be far from guaranteed to win.


What do you think of these developments? Shocked by the money China paid for Anelka? Impressed with Tigres' form this season? Even more disappointed that Real Salt Lake didn't beat Monterrey to reach the Club World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

  • RLW2020

    good, i didn’t want to see Analka sulking away at any MLS club’s payroll… If he is available get Drogba!


  • Andy in Atlanta

    You are already wealthy beyond what you ever thought you would be… yet you take the ridiculous money in Shanghai instead of being apart of something special in Montreal…

    Good luck with being a Muslim in China Nicolas..


  • al17

    Was hoping he’d land in Montreal but it was definitely a long shot and who knows after a year in China it could still happen. Not sure what to make of the “Good Luck with being a Muslim in China” comment other than typical ignorance being spouted on a soccer message board. Incredibly unnecessary and out of line. Gheesh.

    I did see the goals in the match between Monterrey and Kashiwa Reysol. I know people are in love with the EPL around here but there are actually other leagues, teams and tournaments. The goal scored by Leandro Domingues (Kashiwa Reysol) was the best I’ve seen in awhile and definitely the best on this weekend and yes alot better than Van Persies and I stress the ALOT part. Check it out when you get a chance.


  • Klinsi

    Where is Johnny B these days?

    Wasn’t he a Tigre at the beginning of the year?

    (SBI-Still there, been injured much of the season.)


  • Dale

    Santos was a man down both legs, I saw that game and boy did the ref look stupid. He gave a early unnecessary red to the goalkeeper and then a red to the central defender. Santos was left with 1 less in the first leg as well, within the first 20 minutes of the beginning of both matches. The title was given to Tigres, it’s not legit and very very controversial. I find it odd that after santos scored with one less player and where playing well the ref decides to give a red to the defender, very odd….


  • Dale

    I think Johnny is in charge of aerobic sessions, and I heard gives massages to Tigres players during half-time.


  • Paul

    Why would RBNY even consider a loan deal for Ream? What’s in it for them? No transfer money. And they need Ream on the back line. Unless you’re talking about a Donovan/Everton-style temporary loan.


  • Grant

    Al, I had to check out the goal! It was a nice one but in my opinion RvP’s was much better. Lobbed in from 35 yards, over the shoulde and then a one-time volley across Tim Howard! Very very sweet, and very very difficult. It’s almost as good as Arjen Robben’s goal in the CL a couple years ago.


  • wides

    Agreed, great goal from Leandro, but it’s at least one degree of difficulty below RvP’s goal, IMHO


  • JCC

    I had no idea Anelka was an indentured servant to MLS. Seriously, it gets tiresome when a foreign player decides not to play in MLS, you get some cry babies talking about his decision to take a paycheck instead of coming here. Here’s a newsflash for you, if he decided to come to MLS it would have been for the paycheck. It’s always about the paycheck. Even those that publicly say it’s not about the money, really, it’s about the money. Euro and South American stars owe MLS absolutely nothing.


  • nato

    why would anyone pay him 300 K a week? David Villa, Messi, Rooney, Van Persie (right now), Ronaldo and few others are worth that. Anelka won’t sell a ton of jerseys or increase attending audiences.


  • wides

    Can anyone explain to me why they quote player salaries in $ per week ? Does that mean $300K x 52 ? or $300K x (number of weeks in the season)?


  • Kigai

    Ummmm…there are tons of Muslims in China. And even Muslim tribes. I’d rather live in Shanghai than Montreal. Shanghai will get a Disneyland. Where is Montreal’s Disneyland?


  • Carl

    I lived in China for a number of years and really enjoyed it, but this line about Disneyland nearly made me spit up my coffee. Hope it was intended to be a joke ;) And Disneyland Shanghai is scheduled to open in 2016 or something. Ha.

    Personally I’d take Montreal as they’re the home of Arcade Fire. That’s way better than any Disneyland.

    And for the guy that talked about Anelka being Muslim in China. He will have no problems in China. He has cash, and cash is king.


  • VinceN

    lol…great one…too bad he didn’t even make the bench all season…did he even make any appearances???


  • solles

    Anelka’s going to make like 50 times what he’d make in MLS, that is not really much of an exaggeration though it is a rough estimate. I’m sorry but to me there’s no consideration necessary, “I know where I’m playing next” indeed.


  • Marc

    He would have been perfect for Montreal’s entry into the league. LA has a better shot at Drogba if Beckham goes though.


  • Egor

    Player play until retirement in every league…I would rather see a player of this calibre retire here


  • Will

    To get him off the team…He blows. He doesnt have the physicality for MLS. They need a big bruiser badly.


  • eddie

    Unlike England, his skin color will cause a lot of stares in China. Chinese in general are not use to seeing Black skin, as I have a Black American friend who’s married to a Chinese lady. They visited China recently, he was looked at like a “freak of nature,” he told me. Sure Anelka has money, but you can’t change the mindset of a nation just because you have a great athletic abilities. Terry Henry experienced the same fate when playing in the Spanish League, monkey calls and the whole nine. Anelka I’m sure has been consulted about the expected culture shock. I guess a small price to pay for a large cash reward. Really a waste of talent. Who cares about the Chinese league, other than Chinese themselves.


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