Claude Makelele: The Battery

So good they named a role after him. Perfect for the modern game, respected by those who played with him and admired by opponents. 

PA ImagesDM Legend.

The Player


Deep playmaker who'd  'put out fires', meaning he'd stop opposition attacks. Strong in the tackle, he would tirelessly patrol the midfield, particularly in a holding role where many of his team's counters started. Definitely what you could call economical in possession... he rarely gave the ball away. 

+2 Claude Makelele of Chelsea tackles Manchester United's Paul Scholes in the 2007 FA Cup Final.PA ImagesThe perfect player to defend the defenders. Players had to work extra hard to try and get past Makelele.My Ball!

The football4football Four

  1. Tackling: His position meant he would put challenges in a lot. Timed, controlled and safe he would win the ball more often than not.
  2. Stamina: A player tasked to play for the full 90-minutes he was at his physical prime for many years.
  3. Strength: Small but could beat players off the ball who were a lot taller than him.
  4. Passing: Usually the first to start off an attack he had great vision to find his teammates in space.


'A footballer's footballer' 


One of the best holding players ever?


football4football Fast Facts

  • Zidane was upset when Claude left Madrid as he was quoted; “why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine”, thats how important he was to his teammates but the Real hierarchy thought differently!
  • Chelsea fans loved him so much that they name the defensive midfield position as the ‘Makelele Role’.
  • He was persuaded along with Zidane and Thuram out of international retirement to help his country qualify for the 2006 World Cup.
  • He has won league titles in England (Chelsea), France (Nantes) and Spain (Real Madrid).


'Every team would want a Claude'

He helped playmakers play & kept his teams at a good tiempo. Press when needed and the ability to put his foot on the ball.
football4football training team




Final Note

Players that can 'plug' gaps in the midfield are a needed for teams that like to play an attacking game. Knowing that you have the security gives confidence up the pitch. Makélélé made that role his own a players in recent times who fitted the bill is ex-Manchester City & AC Milan star Nigel de Jong who now stars for LA Galaxy in the MLS. The closest player in that mould today is Leicester City's N'Golo Kanté, who incidentally France have now called up. Claude MK

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