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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Mourinho's 'slave' claim too strong - Makelele

Claude Makelele believes Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was 'too strong but logical' when describing him as 'a slave'.

The Blues boss was reacting to Makelele being picked against his will for the French national team by coach Raymond Domenech.

Makelele announced his international retirement for the second time after the World Cup in Germany in July but Domenech did not accept his decision.

Domenech has called him up ahead of France's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Georgia and Italy on September 2 and 6, and Makelele has now agreed to play.

Mourinho said yesterday: 'Makelele is not a football player - Makelele is a slave.'

But Makelele told French television station TPS: 'My coach's words are a bit too strong, he's probably gone too far.

'But his disappointment is logical. There was an agreement after the World Cup that I would retire.

'But I spoke with the French team coach (Domenech) and he believes I am still able to bring something extra to the team.

'I don't blame him (Domenech) for anything and I will go back and play with France.'

Makelele, 33, admits the workload of club and country games will be taxing.

'This is a delicate situation because I will play more matches and I will be more tired,' he said.

'But I am in the list and I have to go. The French team is still something important for me.

'Everyone knows me and I am a professional, I do my job and even if my club is not happy I will honour my call-ups.

'So I will go to Clairefontaine (the France training camp) and I will be there for the two matches. I consider it normal to wear the colours of my country.'

The French team gather in Clairefontaine tonight.