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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 21, 2008

Makelele returns to France with PSG

PARIS, July 21 (Reuters) - French midfielder Claude Makelele promised to give his best to Paris St Germain after joining the Ligue 1 side on a free transfer from Chelsea on Monday. 'It's a very important challenge for me,' Makelele told a news conference after signing his contract. 'I'll try to bring my experience. I'll give my very best, as I have done everywhere else.' No details of the deal were revealed but French media reported the 35-year-old former international, who joined Chelsea in 2003 from Real Madrid, planned to play for two more years before taking on a non-playing role at the club. Considered one of the world's finest holding midfielders, the Kinshasa-born Makelele, who grew up outside Paris, becomes PSG's second major signing in a few days after compatriot Ludovic Giuly, signed from AS Roma on Friday. 'I wanted to come to Paris so badly that Chelsea accepted to let me go,' said Makelele, who announced his international retirement after France's group stage exit from Euro 2008. 'Claude was our priority,' said PSG president Charles Villeneuve. 'He's been a valued player for both Chelsea and France.' PSG, who have won two French titles and lifted the French Cup seven times, struggled to avoid relegation last season. 'I hope we'll have a good season, better than the last one,' said Makelele, who won two Premier League titles and lifted the FA Cup during his tenure at Chelsea. 'It's a personal record that stands alongside any in our history,' Chelsea said in a tribute to Makelele posted on the club's website. 'His five years at Stamford Bridge have been five years in which the club has advanced spectacularly with the eyes of the world looking on... No Chelsea follower ever forgets to celebrate Maka's part in the club's most glorious years.'

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