The Claude Makélélé role is an unimaginative term used to describe the position which Claude Makélélé occupies on a football pitch. With terms such as holding player, defensive midfielder, stopper and anchorman deemed redundant, the Makélélé role has become one of the most talked about positions of modern day football. Makélélé himself is an overappreciated underrated honest pro who has had a long and successful career with Nantes, Olympique de Marseille, Celta Vigo, Real Mardid, Chelsea and currently as captain of Paris Saint-Germain despite managing only 18 goals in 18 years. Essentially exactly the same player as Dunga, Edgar Davids, Owen Hargreaves, David Batty, Marcos Senna, Daniele De Rossi, and Gennaro Gattuso, Makélélé's legacy is attributed largely to his exotic name and the attractiveness of his now ex-girlfriend Noémie Lenoir.
Origin of term[edit | edit source]
At a young age Claude and his coaches realised that his lack of talent and height prohibited him from playing in most positions on a football field. Lacking skill, pace, and shooting ability the then Real Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque decided that Claude was best suited to occupying a unadventurous defensive position between the defence and midfield. It was a role that suited Claude well and in 1999 the Spanish newspaper Marca quoted him as saying 'one day I hope to play like Ajax's Aaron Mokoena', shedding light on the possible true root of the role and the illustrious heights he hoped to reach. Claude's sideways passing and robust no-nonsense attitude was instrumental in Real's success in the early 2000s, winning two La Liga titles and a Champions League. Playing alongside 'galacticos' such as Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo and Steve McManaman, Claude cleverly realised that he was best served giving an easy pass at the earliest opportunity while never advancing outside his teams half of the pitch. For a while nobody noticed his presence.
Move to Chelsea[edit | edit source]
In the summer of 2003 Chelsea had a bid of £16.8 million accepted from Real Madrid having failed to sign anyone for more. After a quiet season as Claudio Ranieri's 'battery', Claude rose to prominence when José Mourinho moved to Stamford bridge for the start of the 2004/2005 season. Winning two successive Premier League titles and an FA Cup during his time in London Makélélé became a cult hero among the fans and a pundits favourite when everyone started to realise that he was the basis of Lampard and Drogba's goals. In fact the British press succeeded in hyping the importance of Claude's work to the team to such an extent that pundits such as Andy Townsend affirmed on a weekly basis that every team needs a Makélélé. This is one of the only sensible things he has ever said.