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Sep, 29, 2010

Terry hoping for lengthy Anelka stay

World Cup mutineer Nicolas Anelka was booed by away fans during Chelsea's 2-0 win over Marseille on Tuesday night but Blues captain John Terry hopes the unpopular French striker will stay at Stamford Bridge for years to come.

Anelka, who scored his seventh goal of the season in the 2-0 win over his countrymen at Stamford Bridge, was banned by the French Football Federation for 18 international games for his part in France's World Cup walk-out and has since quit Les Bleus.

Anelka shrugged off the abuse from Marseille's fans to score from the penalty spot in the 27th-minute to add to Terry's seventh-minute opener.

Anelka, who joined the club from Bolton for £15 million in January 2008, signed a one-year extension to his contract in the summer to keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2012.

The striker requires just one more goal to reach a half-century for the Blues and that could arrive against former club Arsenal on Sunday. Terry, prompted by the striker's success, urged Anelka to remain at Stamford Bridge for as long as possible.

"Nico has stressed before how much he loves the club," said Terry. "The fans love him, the players love him. We would love him to stay here for years to come.

"He is a great character to have around the place. He is a nice guy and a really good professional, someone who myself and the young players look up to and learn from.

"He has found a nice home here at Chelsea. He has come out and said how much he has settled here. We have a good base of French players here as well, so that helps people settle in. People like Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda are key to keeping people happy and so it works well."

France international and Chelsea team-mate Florent Malouda was proud of the way Anelka dealt with the pressure of the occasion, especially with the game shown live on television back home.

"There was a lot of pressure on him because, as everyone knows, a lot of people in France were watching the game so he had many reasons to want to score," said Malouda.

"Everyone at the club knows his quality so I'm glad he had the chance to show that quality. I'm happy for him."

Chelsea remain top of Group F by virtue of goal difference over their next opponents Spartak Moscow. The victory ended a run of two successive defeats and now all eyes are focused on the visit of Arsenal on Sunday.

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