While we all knew that Zizou and Thuram would be leaving the international arena, Makelele had not commited. However since he came out of retirement to play again for Les Bleus this is not a surprise. If anyone has seen Claude play for Chelsea as well as for the French this past tournament it is clear that he still has a lot left in the tank. Real Madrid should still be kicking themselves for allowing him to leave Madrid. Rather than paying him the money he deserved they allowed him to walk and rather gave the money to "stars" like Beckham.
I was hoping he would stay on through the European Cup. his partnership with Vieira really jelled this tournament. At 33 he looks like he is 25. His ability to break up and destroy the other team's offensive efforts through the midfield allow players like Vieira to push further up the pitch. Had Makelele stayed on, he would have given youngsters like ADiarra, Mavouba, LDiarra, or Toulalan (all who are candidates to assume the defensive midfielder role) a great role model to learn from, someone who exemplifies what you need at the position.
Makelele follows in the footsteps of Tigana and Deschamps, as the tireless midfielders who did all the dirty work so that the stars - Platini, Giresse, Zidane, Henry, etc could work their magic. Makelele has been the unsung hero of this French team, I give him as much credit for the amazing run of the French national team as any other player. I am sad to see him leave from the French. I hope he unretires again....