Chelsea legend Claude Makelele today returns to the club as a technical mentor to our young players.
Makelele will be based largely at our Cobham training ground, working closely with individual Academy players, tracking technical performances in both training and matches as they reach a critical point in their professional development.
The 46-year-old will also work with Chelsea players out on loan, visiting them at their clubs and providing regular match feedback.
Returning to Chelsea, Makelele said: ‘I am very happy to come back home. This club gave me a lot and now I want to give back and help the young Chelsea players dreaming of a career in football. I want to use all my experience to help them become professionals in every aspect and I am looking forward to getting started.’
Club director Marina Granovskaia added: ‘We are very pleased to welcome Claude back to Chelsea, where he made such an impact during five excellent years as a player.
‘His long and successful career on the field, added to his winning mentality and experience as a coach in recent years, make him the ideal person to pass on his expertise to our talented youngsters. He will be a valuable asset to both our Academy and first-team coaching staff.’
During his five years as a player with Chelsea, Makelele made 217 appearances as an influential holding midfielder, scoring twice. During that time he lifted two league titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups, as well as helping us to the 2008 Champions League final, which proved to be his last game for the club.
After seeing out his career at Paris Saint-Germain, he joined their coaching staff under Carlo Ancelotti before following former Chelsea coach Paul Clement to Swansea City as assistant manager. He most recently worked as manager of Belgian top-flight side Eupen, having also managed Bastia in 2014.
Makelele becomes the latest ex-player to join our coaching staff following the arrivals of Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and Jody Morris this summer.
He will operate alongside fellow former Blues Carlo Cudicini, Paulo Ferreira and Tore Andre Flo in his new role.