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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Makelele says he will quit before Euro 2008 finals

PARIS, Sep 30 (Reuters) - Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho and France coach Raymond Domenech have reached agreement over the international future of Claude Makelele, the midfielder was quoted as saying on Saturday.

'The aim is to do all I can to help France qualify for Euro 2008 but I shall not go further,' Makelele told sports daily L'Equipe in an interview.

The 33-year-old midfielder stated his desire to retire from international football after France reached the final of the World Cup but was recalled for their first two Euro qualifiers, earlier this month.

Mourinho accused Domenech of treating Makelele like a slave while France's coach said that according to FIFA rules he was entitled to pick the midfielder.

Makelele told L'Equipe that the two coaches had reached agreement after France defeated World champions Italy in their second Euro qualifier on September 6.

'When I went back to London after the game, I first talked to my coach (Mourinho) and then to the selector who gave me to understand that I had to change my decision to quit,' he said.

'For Chelsea, the priority was to avoid sanctions and controversy. For me, it's a relief. I'm glad the problem has been solved. I hate controversy,' he added.

The Chelsea midfielder has been selected by Domenech for France's next Euro qualifiers, against Scotland on Oct. 7 in Glasgow and against the Faroe Islands four days later in Sochaux.

Makelele said he expected to start against Scotland, who share the lead of Group B with France but hoped to be rested against the Faroe Islands.

'I think that, if we get a good result in Scotland, Domenech should give a chance to a younger player like Jeremy Toulalan,' he said. 'I'll talk to the coach about that. A turnover would be to his credit and it would be better for me.'