Rarely over the years have Chelsea signed a genuine world superstar at the peak of his powers. One such player was Marcel Desailly who cost £4.6m from Milan in June 1998. He was twice a European Champion, being the first player to win the title with different clubs in consecutive seasons, and had won the Italian league twice in the previous five seasons. Just to add to the glamour he won the World Cup with France within six weeks of becoming a Chelsea player.
For three seasons 'Le Rock' formed a formidable defensive partnership with his compatriot Frank Leboeuf. They won the FA Cup together in 2000 and followed that up weeks later by winning the European Championship with their country.
One cup win in his six years at the club was scant reward for Marcel's talent and application. He played 222 times for Chelsea, scoring seven goals. While he was at the club he won 74 international caps, a club record that has only recently been passed by Frank Lampard.
Perhaps Marcel's greatest legacy for Chelsea was the part he played in the development of the young John Terry who learned from him greatly, particularly his assurance and calmness under pressure.