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Page last updated at 07:50 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 08:50 UK

Makelele leaves Chelsea for PSG

Claude Makelele
Makelele wins the ball from Manchester United's Wayne Rooney

Veteran French midfielder Claude Makelele has been released on a free transfer by Chelsea, allowing him to sign for Paris St Germain.

The 35-year-old, who spent five years at Stamford Bridge, will be unveiled by PSG at a news conference on Monday.

"I wanted this so much that Chelsea gave me the chance to finish my career in my own country," said Makelele.

Makelele joined Chelsea from Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2003, costing the Stamford Bridge outfit 16.8m.

Makelele, whose partner and son live in Paris, added: "It's a very important challenge, I hope to enjoy it, and there's also my family.

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

Makelele won two Premier League titles and played 217 times for Chelsea, scoring two goals in the process.

"Everyone at Chelsea would like to thank Claude for the service he has given us," said a club statement.

"Claude has been a key part of our trophy success 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 friend of the club."

Makelele's last match for the club was their Champions League final defeat by Manchester United in Moscow in May.

He retired from international football - for the second time - in June after their disappointing exit from Euro 2008, after winning 71 caps.

see also
Cech signs new Chelsea contract
21 Jul 08 |  Chelsea

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