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Claude Makelele

Claude Makelele
Complete Name: Claude MakÚlÚlÚ
Nationality: French
Place of Birth: Kinshasa (Zaire)
Date of Birth: 08/08/1992
Height: 174 cm
Weight: 70 kg
National Team: France
Current Club: Chelsea FC (England)
Position: Midfielder


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Club career history

Brest (France), Nantes (France), Marseille (France), Celta Vigo (Spain), Real Madrid (Spain), Chelsea FC (England)


2002 Intercontinental Cup winner (Real Madrid)
2002 European SuperCup winner (Real Madrid)
2002 Champions League winner (Real Madrid)
1995 French 1st Division.. Champions (Nantes)
2001 Primera.. League Champions (Real Madrid)
2003 Primera.. League Champions (Real Madrid)
2005 Premiership Champions (Chelsea FC)
2005 League Cup winner (Chelsea FC)
2000 Intercontinental Cup Finals (Real Madrid)
2000 European SuperCup Finals (Real Madrid)
2002 League Cup Finals (Real Madrid)


Claude MakÚlÚlÚ (born February 18, 1973 in Kinshasa, Za´re) is a French international football (soccer) player, who currently plays defensive midfield for Chelsea in the English Premiership.

Prior to joining Chelsea, MakÚlÚlÚ played for Nantes (1992-97), Olympique de Marseille (1997-98), Celta Vigo (1998-2000), and Real Madrid (2000-03). Chelsea purchased him for ú16.6M from the Spanish giants.

Claude MakÚlÚlÚ moved to Savigny-le-Temple, a Parisian suburb in Seine-et-Marne (77), in 1977, when he was 4 years old. His father was also a football player selected in the Zairian national football team before ending his career in the Belgian first division.

MakÚlÚlÚ had never left Savigny-le-Temple until the age of 16, when he joined the training centre of Brest-Armorique in Brittany. According to him, it wasn't easy to adapt to the new life in Brest, the training centre life was tough, especially as it was the first time he was far from his family.

According to him, he has worked very hard in Brest, but it's in Nantes where he discovered the real pleasure of playing. MakÚlÚlÚ was recruited by FC Nantes Atlantique in December 1991, when he was still 18 years old. Robert Budzinski, the Sport director from Nantes confessed that once he had found "Maka" in Brest, he was sure he would become the new Alain Giresse. At the beginning of the 1992-1993 season, Claude MakÚlÚlÚ was already in Nantes A-team, in French first division. He played at Nantes for five seasons, winning the French Championship in 1995 before moving to Marseille.

After one year in Marseille, he caught the attention of Celta Vigo where he played for the next two years. In 2000, he was recruited by Real Madrid. While in Madrid he substantially added to his medal tally, winning two La Liga titles, one Champions League, one Spanish Super Cup, one European Super Cup and one Intercontinental Cup. He also cemented his place as one of the best holding midfielders in the world. In the summer of 2003 he signed for Chelsea for ú16,800,000, where the then manager Claudio Ranieri proclaimed that MakÚlÚlÚ would be the "battery" of the team.

Claude MakÚlÚlÚ has also been selected to represent France on the international level. As of the end of 2004, he has compiled 33 caps, and played for his country at the 1996 Olympic Games, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. MakÚlÚlÚ decided to retire from international football in September of 2004, in order to focus on achieving further club glory with Chelsea. But eleven months later, in August 2005, he decided to return to the French fold in an announcement made by compatriots ZinÚdine Zidane and Lilian Thuram.

MakÚlÚlÚ's role for Chelsea is often overlooked, but he was the unsung hero in Chelsea FC's successful 2004/05 season, winning both the Premiership and the League Cup. His defensive qualities allow the likes of Frank Lampard and Joe Cole to parade their attacking skills. However, MakÚlÚlÚ's importance has been recognised by Chelsea manager JosÚ Mourinho, who recently said he was Chelsea's player of the year. This is displayed by Real Madrid's apparent downturn after letting him go to now successful Chelsea, an opinion voiced by his former team-mate at Madrid, the Englishman, Steve McManaman, who in his autobiography described Makelele as the most important midfield player who was under-appreciated at Madrid. To cap off a brilliant 2004/05 for the Frenchman, he was allowed to take a penalty awarded to Chelsea in the game against Charlton Athletic on the day the Premiership trophy was due to be presented. He missed, but subsequently converted the rebound to score his first goal in 94 games for the Blues. In September 2005 he was selected as a member of the World XI at the FIFPro awards. The team was chosen by a vote of professional footballers in 40 countries.

In the spring of 2004, he started a relationship with French model NoÚmie Lenoir and in February 2005, Lenoir gave birth to a boy they named Kelyan.

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