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Real's Makelele completes Chelsea move
( 2003-09-01 14:34) (Agencies)

Claude Makelele completed his move from Real Madrid to Chelsea late on Sunday, less than 12 hours before the Champions League qualifying deadline, the English premier league club announced on Monday.

 The 30-year-old has signed a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee, Chelsea said on their official website.

 The French midfielder's move to London went through as planned, despite a disagreement over the player's cut of the transfer fee.

 Chelsea and Real Madrid had reached agreement on Friday for a reported fee of 24 million euros ($26.24 million), but doubts about the transfer emerged on Sunday when Makelele's agent said his player was expecting Real to pay him 15 percent of the fee.

 However Real's sporting director Jorge Valdano rejected the agent's claims on Sunday night as he announced that the transfer was going through.

 Makelele, who helped Real win the Spanish league title in 2001 and this year and the European Cup in 2002, told Chelsea television before his transfer was completed: "Real Madrid is no different to anyone. There's lots of interest, everybody is talking about the ambition of the London club Chelsea."

 Makelele's signing has lifted Chelsea's billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich's spending on players to well over 100 million pounds ($157.8 million).

 "That's it. No more. We've finished," Chelsea chief executive Trevor Birch said on the club's website.

 The Kinshasa-born Makelele, who has 24 France caps, joined Real Madrid in 2000 in a $13.7 million transfer from Celta Vigo, having previously played for Nantes and Olympique Marseille.

 Makelele, who will wear the number four shirt, joins a Chelsea squad already boosted by the singings of Argentina's Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo, Romanian Adrian Mutu, England's Joe Cole, Geremi of Cameroon and Irishman Damien Duff.


 FACTBOX-Soccer-Claude Makelele factbox

Factbox on French midfielder Claude Makelele, who moved to Chelsea from Real Madrid for an undisclosed fee on a four-year contract on Sunday.

 Born -  Kinshasa, Republic of Congo on February 18, 1973

 1990 - Joins French third division side Brest where he spends two seasons.

 1992 - Moves to first division Nantes where he earns himself a regular place in the first team and helps his side to the French championship in the 1994-95 season.

 1995 - Makes international debut for France in 0-0 against Norway in July.

 1997 - Has a brief one-season spell at Olympique Marseille.

 1998 - Signs a four-year deal with Celta Vigo for a fee of $2.6 million. Becomes one of the outstanding players in the Galician side's classy midfield.

 Misses out on the French squad for the 1998 World Cup.

 2000 - After two seasons, he pushes for a transfer, refusing to train until he seals a move to Valencia. But Real Madrid join the bidding and he moves to the Spanish capital instead for $13.7 million, signing a six-year contract with his new club.

 Not selected for the France squad for Euro 2000.

 2001 - Quickly establishes himself as a key part of the first-choice line-up at Real Madrid and is an integral part of the side that wins the Spanish title.

 2002 - Has an outstanding season, doing the dirty work in midfield that allows the club's star-studded attacking line-up to shine.

 Plays a central role in Real's triumph over Bayer Leverkusen in the final of the Champions League at Hampden Park.

 Also plays in the European Super Cup win over Feyenoord and the World Club Cup victory over Olimpia.

 Included in the French squad for World Cup, but plays in just one game, a 2-0 defeat against Denmark, as his team crash out in the first round.

 Dec -  Hints at possible exit from Real after revealing that he does not feel valued by the club.

 2003 - Another impressive season with Real as the club help themselves to their 29th league title.

 May -  Missed the return leg of the Champions League semi-final against Juventus when Real are over-run in midfield by the Italians, who win through to the final with a 4-3 aggregate victory.

 Gives several interviews during the course of the season hinting that, as one of the lowest paid players in the squad, he is hoping the club will offer him an improved contract.

 August -  Refuses to train with Real Madrid after the club deny him a pay rise.

 August 31 -  Joins Chelsea on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee.


 Nantes - 169 league appearances, nine goals

 Olympique Marseille - 32 league appearances, two goals

 Celta Vigo - 70 league appearances, 3 goals

 Real Madrid - 84 league appearances, 1 goal

 France - 24 appearances, no goals

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