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Makelele moves to PSG
by Joe Addison, July 22nd, 2008 7AM

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[TRANSFER TALK] Claude Makelele, one of the world's best defensive midfielders for a decade, has joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, fulfilling his desire to end his playing career in France. The 35-year-old Makelele joins the Parisian club after spending five years at Chelsea where he won two league titles.

Makelele, who began his professional career with Nantes, returns to France hoping to improve the fortunes of his new club. PSG flirted with relegation for most of last season, before scraping out a 16th finish place in Ligue 1. Coach Paul Le Guen has also brought in former France international Ludovic Giuly from Roma for $4 million.

After arriving in the French capital, Makelele told reporters that he was relishing the upcoming season.

"I wanted to come to Paris so badly that Chelsea accepted to let me go," he said. "It is a very important challenge for me. I will try to bring my experience and give my very best, as I have done everywhere else. I look forward to a good season."

The midfielder sees his time at PSG as an opportunity to help the club's young players

"I'm coming to bring a little more experience," he said. "I'm not coming like a Messiah but to teach what I also learned when young."

The midfielder played 217 games and scored twice for Chelsea. He previously played at Real Madrid and Celta Vigo in Spain, as well as French clubs Marseille, Nantes and Brest.

Makelele, who has 71 caps for France, has been widely praised for his role as a defensive midfielder.

While the details of the contract have not been released, it is believed that Makelele has signed a two-year contract and will stay on at the club in a coaching role once he retires.



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