By the time Claude Makélélé left Chelsea in 2008 he was widely heralded as one of the finest defensive midfielders the game had seen. His selfless defensive work was a driving force in the Chelsea side considered one of the finest in English football history.
Makélélé mastered the holding role in Jose Mourinho’s 3 man midfield, helping them to 6 trophies in 8 years.
Makélélé had, in fact, started out his playing career as an industrious if slightly unspectacular winger at French side Nantes. He would find success, winning the French title in 94/95. His form attracted first Marseille and then the highly ambitious Celta Vigo.