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Nicolas Anelka was disrespectful to the French national team by snubbing a call-up for a friendly match against Yugoslavia last month, national coach Jacques Santini has said.

“When he says he hasbeen treated in an offhand and disrespectful manner, I think it is the contrary,” Santini told Le Monde.

“He was not disrespectful to me but to his team mates. When I told them how things happened they acknowledged he had made a mistake.”

Manchester City striker Anelka has not played an international since April. He was asked to replace the injured Sidney Govou in the squad to face Yugoslavia but turned down the request saying he felt Santini did not really want him.

“When I went to see him in Manchester, we spoke together for 35 minutes. As I asked him ‘Nico, are you OK, have you understood the way I work”, he just had to say ‘no coach, you take me for an idiot’,” Santini said.

“If we had a game today, I would not take him.”

But Santini has not ruled out calling up Anelka in the future. “My parents taught me ‘never say never’,” he said.

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