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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Makelele happy to write final chapter at PSG

New Paris St Germain signing Claude Makelele insists it has long been his dream to end his career in the French capital, but believes he may continue to play for some time yet.

The veteran midfielder joined the Parc des Princes outfit on Monday after being allowed to call time on his five-year stint with Chelsea.

The 35-year-old, who had a year remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge, revealed the Londoners allowed him to leave the club to pursue his dream of joining his wife and son who live in Paris.

'I'm very happy, everything went well,' said Makelele.

'It took some time but I wanted this so much that Chelsea gave me the possibility of finishing my career in my own country.

'It's a very important challenge for me but also a very difficult one. I felt that my cycle at Chelsea was coming to an end.

'I'm coming to bring a little more experience. I'm not coming like a Messiah but to teach what I also learned when young.'

The move to Paris will likely be Makelele's last, ending a career which has included stints in Spain and England.

However, the midfielder is not ready to end his playing days in the near future.

'People always tell me I'm 35. That doesn't bother me, I don't notice my age,' he continued.

'I still have the same energy on the pitch. If I can play until I'm 45 like that I will.

'I have done a tour of the best leagues and now I'm back where it all began. It will be a good way to finish.'

The former France international becomes the second major recruit of new PSG president Charles Villeneuve's reign, following the arrival of Ludovic Giuly from AS Roma last week.

The capital club, who fought against relegation last season, have also signed Guillaume Hoarau from Le Havre and Stephane Sessegnon from Le Mans.

On Makelele's signing Villeneuve added: 'Claude is an emblematic player and no doubt he will go down as such in the history of PSG.'

Makelele was a £16.8million signing by Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2003. The 35-year-old won two league titles during his spell at Stamford Bridge, and helped the club reach last season's Champions League final.

He was taken to London from Real Madrid by former manager Claudio Ranieri, shortly after Roman Abramovich took over as the club's new owner.

The former Nantes, Marseille and Celta Vigo player added defensive strength to Chelsea's midfield and linked up well with Frank Lampard in the centre.

A statement on Chelsea's website read: 'Everyone at Chelsea would like to take this opportunity to thank Claude for the five years of service he has given to the club.

'He has been a key part of our trophy success during that time and we wish him well for the future.

'He will always be welcomed back to Stamford Bridge in the future either as a player or as a friend of the club.'

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