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Sunday April 6, 2014 MYT 10:07:40 PM
Sunday April 6, 2014 MYT 10:08:47 PM
April 6 - (Reuters) - South American champions Atletico Mineiro have signed Nicolas Anelka less than a month after the Frenchman was sacked by West Bromwich Albion for an alleged anti-Semitic gesture, club president Alexandre Kalil said on Sunday.
Kalil announced the news on his Twitter account @alexandrekalil, in which he referred to the Brazilian club by its nickname and said simply "Anelka belongs to the Roosters."
The tweet was later reproduced on the club's official website (www.atletico.com.br) together with a list of the controversial French striker's former clubs. However, no further details were given.
Anelka, who turned 35 last month, made the 'quenelle' salute, which is associated with anti-Semitic sentiments, when he scored the first of his two goals in a 3-3 draw in a league game at West Ham United's Upton Park ground.
He was later given a five-match ban by the Premier League, and after announcing on social media that he was leaving the Midlands club, was sacked for what West Brom called gross misconduct.
Anelka said the salute, devised by his friend Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, was a sign of allegiance with the French comedian and that he was using it as an anti-establishment gesture.
He is no stranger to scandal, having been banned for 18 games for insulting then France coach Raymond Domenech at the 2010 World Cup.
He would join forces with former Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris St Germain striker Ronaldinho, who has revived his career since joining the Belo Horizonte club two years ago and helped them to the 2013 Libertadores Cup.
Anelka would become one of a handful of European players to move to Brazil.
The most successful have been Dutchman Clarence Seedorf, who spent the last 18 months of his playing career at Botafogo, and Serb Dejan Petkovic, who spent most of his career in the country and played for a number of clubs including Mineiro.
Former Porto midfielder Deco, who was born in Brazil, returned to the country to end his career with Fluminense.
(Reporting By Brian Homewood; editing by Josh Reich)
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