Football

Diarra plays down Makelele comparison

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Lassana Diarra was keen to play down comparisons to former Real Madrid midfielder Claude Makelele after being unveiled as the Primera Liga champions' latest signing on Monday.

Diarra has penned a four-and-a-half year contract with the Spanish giants after joining from Portsmouth for a fee reportedly in the region of 20million euros.

And while Diarra admits he is proud of the comparisons with his former Chelsea team-mate Makelele, he insists he is his own man, saying: "It's an honour to be compared to Makelele, but Makelele is Makelele and I am me. We have some things in common but I'm my own player. They compare me to him, but he came here when he was a little older, I'm younger."

Diarra also insists he is ready to make the step to play for the nine-times European champions.

"For four or five years I have been at great clubs, such as Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as the French national team, and I'm ready to play for Real Madrid," he said.

"I have a lot of desire to do well, and I'm looking forward to defending the Real Madrid colours. It's a dream to be here and I'm very happy.

"I hope everything goes as well as possible for me here in Madrid."

Diarra is the third new player Madrid will have available to them in the new year following the additions of Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Dani Parejo over the last few weeks.

Huntelaar was signed from Dutch giants Ajax for a fee that could rise to 27million euros while Parejo was recalled from his loan spell at QPR.

Madrid president Ramon Calderon said of the latest arrival: "He is an exceptional player who has a lot of experience and will be a magnificent solution for us for the rest of the season and four more."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Portsmouth
Football
Claude Makelele
Chelsea
Premier League
Queens Park Rangers
Lassana Diarra

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