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The rock solid defensive midfielder played for Celta Vigo before he was recruited by Real Madrid in 2000.
At Real Madrid, Makelele substantially added to his medal tally, winning two Spanish la liga championships, the UEFA Champions league, the Spanish super cup, the European super cup, and the Intercontinental Cup. As an ever- present player in Vicente del Bosque's Real Madrid side, Makelele also established himself as one of the best holding midfielders in the world.
However, despite his value to the team, the French man was one of the club's most under-paid members, earning a fraction of what was paid to players like Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Raul, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Steve McManaman and Guti.
In the summer of 2003, feeling that his position at the club was insecure after the shocking exit of Del Bosque, the arrival of David Beckham, and encouragement from team mates Zidane, Raul, Mcmanaman, and Fernando Morientes, Makelele decided to ask for an improved contract which the Real Management flatly refused. Upset, he handed in a transfer request, whereupon he was signed by Chelsea.
Club president, Florentino Perez, infamously poured scorn on the French man's footballing abilities when he proclaimed that Makelele would not be missed. His fellow teammate, Zidane, later replied to Perez saying,"Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?"
Claude Makelele's sale was probably the biggest mistake the club made in recent memory.