Chelsea legend Claude Makelele is one of the best defensive midfielders to have played the game, and the Frenchman was famed for being a ball stopper in midfield.
Chelsea and Barcelona have been rivals for over a decade now in the Champions League, and Makelele faced Barca superstar Ronaldinho in both the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons for Chelsea in the Champions League, and Makelele was tasked with role of stopping the former best footballer in the during those games.
Ronaldinho was known for his show and trickery, and Makelele has revealed that he threatened to put Ronaldinho in hospital during one of Chelsea’s Champions League matches against Barcelona for his showboating.
Makelele said in an interview with RMC Sport: “At one point in the game I went over to Ronaldinho and said ‘I prefer you show good manners when you dribble against me because if there are any of those PlayStation tricks… I’ll send you to the hospital’.
“Do you know what he did? He gave me the ball and apologised.”
Makelele then compared Ronaldinho with his former Real Madrid and France teammate Zinedine Zidane. He said that while Zidane dribbled to advance towards goal and help the attack, Ronaldinho took his too far at times.
“Zidane was an artist, but every move he made was to add something to the attack or to advance,” said Makelele.
“He took a beating. In that context, you can’t say anything. With Ronaldinho, it’s the same thing, in this context, you can’t say anything. But at some point, he started to go too far.”
Makelele, now 46, joined Chelsea in 2003 and made 144 appearances, winning two Premier League titles.