4. Claude Makelele
‘Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine’-this is what Zidane has to say when Madrid sold Makelele to buy Beckham. ‘An engine’ is the perfect description of the little man from Congo. Madrid needed a defensive midfielder in 2000 as Raul and Figo never tracked back and in came Makelele from Celta De Vigo. He had an instant impact as Madrid won 2 domestic titles and the UCL during his 3 seasons at the club. Makelele was a workhorse with superb balance, positioning and tackling ability. His stunning game-reading and dribbling skills meant that Madrid’s forward line could play more freely. Unfortunately, he left the club in 2003 due to a contract dispute. But during his time at Spain, Makelele truly revolutionized the holding midfield role.