Nicolas Anelka has paid a fulsome tribute to Roman Abramovich following the Russian’s decision to sell Chelsea.
Abramovich said on Wednesday he would sell Chelsea Football Club, 19 years after buying the Premier League team, amid calls in Britain for sanctions against him following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
But that hasn’t stopped former players showing their respect to an owner that has brought 21 trophies to west London during his time at Stamford Bridge.
The now-retired frontman claimed Abramovich’s input has benefited all of English football, and hailed the Russian’s low-key approach at Chelsea.
“I’m very sad about it. When he arrived at Chelsea they were fourth or fifth in the Premier League,” Anelka told RMC Sport.
“He succeeded in making them the club they are today, which has won virtually every trophy going. We very seldom saw him when I was at the club, but he was a class act when he used to come into the dressing-room.
“He showed us lots of respect, and always kept in the background. He never spoke out in the media, or tried to take centre stage.
“It is sad to see the current situation, as he did so much both for English football and for Chelsea. I think all fans will agree with my opinion.”
Anelka’s former team-mate John Terry also paid tribute to Abramovich by tweeting: “Thank you Roman. The Best Owner in the WORLD.”