Claude Makelele revealed he jumped at the chance to reunite with his “mentor” Paul Clement at Swansea City.
The former Real Madrid, Chelsea and France star today joined Clement’s coaching staff at the Liberty Stadium.
Makelele played at Chelsea during Clement’s time working as a coach with the Blues, while the pair later worked on the same coaching staff at Paris Saint-Germain.
And with Clement recently appointed as head coach at the Swans, Makelele was quickly in contact with the 45-year-old to offer his services.
“I am really excited to be here and I am happy to start working at Swansea,” said Makelele, who won 15 trophies during a glittering 20-year career.
“Paul is my mentor. He has taught me a lot of things in my time working with him.
“When I heard he was back working in the Premier League, I phoned him and asked if I could help him at Swansea.
“Paul has given me the opportunity to come back to the Premier League, and I’m very grateful because I’ve really missed it.
“I know him very well and he knows me too. I think I have a lot to give, and hopefully I can help Paul and Swansea.”
Makelele joins the Swans ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal at the Liberty – a fixture which could see them rise out of the relegation zone.
He joins Clement’s backroom staff which also includes fellow new recruits Nigel Gibbs and Karl Halabi, along with goalkeeper coach Tony Roberts.
And the former midfielder feels the Swans have the right quality to move themselves away from the danger zone.
“The aim is to keep Swansea in the Premier League, and I will do my best to help make the players happy and raise their performances,” added the 43-year-old.
“My role is a general one. Whichever way I can help the players then I will do it. I have a lot of experience and I think I can help.
“Swansea have a lot of quality. I know, given my time as a footballer, that your confidence can drop, and hopefully I can help raise their confidence.
“Swansea have done very well in the Premier League – they have been there a long time now – and we want to stay in the league.”
Having spent five years with Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles along with two League Cup medals and the FA Cup, Makelele is delighted to be back in English football’s top flight.
“English football and the Premier League gave me a lot,” he added. “I was amazed with the contact, the spirit, the atmosphere – I loved it.
“I’ve experienced it as a player, now I can do it as a coach with Swansea.
“I am looking forward to Saturday. It’s a big game, but in the Premier League you can beat any team – anything is possible.”