FERNANDO BUSTAMANTE/Associated Press
The French water carrier helped los Blancos win everything there was to during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, there was one major problem and that was that Makelele’s face was just not recognisable enough to sell Madrid shirts around the world.
As a result, club president Florentino Perez offloaded the holding midfielder to Chelsea in the summer of 2003 for just £16.8m, sending the player on his way with these parting words:
We will not miss Makelele. His technique is average, he lacks the speed and skill to take the ball past opponents, and ninety percent of his distribution either goes backwards or sideways.
He wasn't a header of the ball and he rarely passed the ball more than three metres. Younger players will arrive who will cause Makelele to be forgotten.
Madrid have failed to win the UEFA Champions League in the 11 years since Makelele’s departure, while at Stamford Bridge the defensive midfielder continued his reputation as the best player in his position on Planet Football.