Only truly special players have a position on the pitch named after them – so we can safely say Claude ‘The Makelele Role’ Makelele is a proper football legend.
It’s also why The King Of Holding Midfielders played for some great sides. France’s 2006 World Cup runners-up, Real Madrid’s original Galacticos, Chelsea’s first Premier League title winners… it’s safe to say Makelele played alongside a whole host of world-class footballers.
So when ‘Maka’ decided to name his best ever team-mate, there must have been some SERIOUS competition for the title.
Just consider some of the players the little Frenchman shared a dressing room with. The list reads like a who’s who of modern football superstars.
So, who did he pick as the best of the lot?
Incredibly, the player Makelele has picked as his best ever team mate is…
Ivan Helguera. Yes, Ivan Helguera – the former Spain international who played alongside Makelele in the Real Madrid midfield between 2000 and 2003.
Talking to UEFA.com, ‘Maka’ was asked, ‘Who was the best player you played with?’.
His reply: “I’m not going to say Zidane, because he’s my friend and I’m always talking about him!
“I’m going to say Iván Helguera who played in midfield with me at Madrid.
“We had a great chemistry; we’d train together, we’d eat together.
“He knew where I’d move on the pitch, I’d know when he was going to push up and try and score. We didn’t even need to talk, just a look was enough to know what the other was going to do.”
No doubt Helguera was a top player, who complemented Makelele beautifully. But better than Zizou, Ronaldo, Raul and the rest?