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MAKELELE MK II

An XI of current players who should have a position named in their honour

Claude Makelele has a position on the pitch named after him, but which current players should follow him into the footballing dictionary?

To have a position named after yourself you need to do something unique, so special yet efficient that it’s instantly recognisable.

Take the Makelele role, for example. Now there have been plenty of fine defensive midfielders before, and after, Makelele, yet none have coined their own position.

Dennis Rommedahl getting Makelele’d

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Dennis Rommedahl getting Makelele’d

Not even the greats, like Zinedine Zidane or Ronaldo, were consigned to immortality with an induction into the footballing dictionary after their careers finished.

Makelele’s ability to crab from side to side, destroying the hopes and dreams of opposition attackers, was that distinctive.

But it’s time to update the dictionary. It’s time to introduce 11 more specialised terms to be overused by Sky Sports pundits week in, week out. So, without further ado…

A top, top, top team as ‘Arry would say

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A top, top, top team as ‘Arry would say

The Bravo

Excels at everything to do with goalkeeping aside from the actual goalkeeping. Exceptional with his feet, flawless with his distribution and even throws in a Cruyff turn now and then.

Just don’t ask him to save, command his area or be a calming influence at the back. More exciting than watching the ruthlessly accurate Manuel Neuer though.

How’d you end up there Claudio?

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How’d you end up there Claudio?

The Marcelo

Despite being the most talented and skillful player in the team this lad ended up playing in defence.

Not that he lets that stop him. For 89 minutes of the game he plays ahead of the left winger, bringing out a full array of nutmegs, rainbow flicks and the occasional flip-flap.

Sergio Ramos tries to stop Marcelo going on another forward run

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Sergio Ramos tries to stop Marcelo going on another forward run

The Moses

What do you do when you’ve got all the physical attributes to play as a winger but your brain can’t quite keep up with your feet?

Simple, you revert to right-back to play the Moses role, as modelled by Michail Antonio and Antonio Valencia this season.

When the ball is near Moses there’s a 50/50 chance he’ll either fall over or set up a goal

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When the ball is near Moses there’s a 50/50 chance he’ll either fall over or set up a goal

The Luiz

You’ve got the ball in your own area, surrounded by opposition players. Do you put the ball in the stands and reset?

Of course you don’t. You throw a couple of dummies, fake a pass back to your own keeper and stroll the ball into midfield. Or give away a goal.

Another day, another unorthodox piece of defending from Luiz

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Another day, another unorthodox piece of defending from Luiz

The Ramos

Two moods. One sees him go to the ground at the slightest suggestion of contact. The other aggressively bounds around the pitch like William Wallace, collecting red cards for fun.

From the 80th minute onward he turns into a player incapable of not scoring headers from corners and set pieces.

When not getting sent off, he’s pretty handy in the air

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When not getting sent off, he’s pretty handy in the air

The Kante

Not so much defensive mid as defensive central right left attacking midfield striker, who sometimes covers both full backs at once.

In ten years time the Makelele role will be obsolete, as people hark back to the days of Kante and his three lungs.

No one escapes the clutches of N’Golo

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No one escapes the clutches of N’Golo

The Dembele

Can he shoot? No. Can he pass? Not really. Has he perfected the art of turning in a circle? You better believe it.

Dembele went six months without being tackled before Didier N’Dong rudely interrupted his streak. For that alone he deserves his own position.

Jack Wilshere suffering dizziness usually attributed to trying to tackle Dembele

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Jack Wilshere suffering dizziness usually attributed to trying to tackle Dembele

The Fellaini

Traditionally relied upon when losing with ten minutes to play, or when facing technically superior opposition.

Not so much a midfielder as a physical force of nature, all elbows and elite chest control. Surprisingly bad in the air for a big man.

‘I got the ball ref’

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‘I got the ball ref’

The Robben

Everyone hears the manager’s cry from the touchline. “Don’t let him cut inside,” he bellows to his defenders, as the winger picks up the ball on the left.

You may as well save your breath, for no defender in world football can stop the zig zag in from the right, followed by a curled finish into the top corner.

Four men and a better placed team-mate couldn’t stop Robben from cutting in

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Four men and a better placed team-mate couldn’t stop Robben from cutting in

The Downing

The polar opposite of The Robben. No matter how little room there is to work with on the left he still drops his shoulder and goes further left.

It worked for a while, to the extent that people are shocked to find out you’ve got 35 international caps. But eventually the manager stopped calling. Now your team-mates prank call you every now and then, pretending to be the gaffer.

Three international legends and Andres Iniesta

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Three international legends and Andres Iniesta

The Benzema

Ludicrously talented yet vastly underrated, to the extent that he’s forced back into midfield, such is the gravitas of the fellow attackers he plays with.

Simultaneously playing with one of the world’s best players and one of the world’s most expensive players has seen him revert to a false ten role.

Benzema has just heard that Ronaldo and Bale are on the team sheet

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Benzema has just heard that Ronaldo and Bale are on the team sheet

The Mourinho

Every team needs a manager, and with this one you win whether you win, lose or draw.

He possesses the ability to spend £200million on players while remaining immune to criticism when his side struggle to qualify for the Europa League.

Someone has just seen the league table

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Someone has just seen the league table