CLAUDE MAKELELE

Claude Makelele


Claude Makelele is the only Chelsea player to have had a position named after him.

Claude was one of the first signings by the club after the Roman Abramovich takeover and proved to be one of the most influential. Allowing Makelele to join Chelsea, the president of his previous club, Real Madrid, stated that, 'We will not miss him, his technique is average, he lacks speed and skill, his distribution goes backwards or sideways. New players will arrive to make us forget Makelele.'

Over the next five years, Chelsea won two league titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups. Real Madrid won nothing.

Claude's defensive qualities and reading of the game enabled the more attacking players on the team to raid forward but it also protected a defence that famously kept 25 clean sheets and went over 1,000 minutes without conceding while winning the league title in 2004/05. Manager Jose Mourinho declared him to be the most important member of the team that season.

Claude's importance can be measured by the fact that he was often named as a stand-in captain when necessary and he played some of the best football of his career in the run to the 2008 Champions League Final.

That final proved to be his last game for Chelsea and in recognition of his service to the club, Claude was granted a free transfer enabling him to join Paris St-Germain where he became their captain.


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