Diarra relishing challenge

Midfielder plays down Makelele comparison

Diarra: Determined

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Lassana Diarra is determined to make an impact at Real Madrid after completing his move from Portsmouth.

The French midfielder was officially presented at the Bernabeu on Thursday afternoon after passing a medical and putting pen-to-paper on a four-and-a-half year contract with the Spanish giants.

Diarra, who will wear the name 'Lass' on the back of his shirt, has spent time at Chelsea and Arsenal already in his career but is now keen to settle down and enjoy a sustained period of success with Real.

"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, who joins namesake Mahamadou Diarra in Spain, added: "I don't want to be called Diarra One or Diarra Two. I want to be known as Lass."

Diarra has been likened to former Real midfielder Claude Makelele and he is flattered by the comparisons.

But he said: "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."


Christophe Metzelder has undergone surgery to repair a broken nose after being injured during Saturday's 1-0 win over Valencia.

He was elbowed by Valencia defender Raul Albiol as the two battled for the ball.

Metzelder is expected to play with a specially fitted protective mask for at least a month.

Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow midfielder Milos Krasic is reportedly close to signing with Real.

According to Spanish sports newspaper Marca, the Serbian is set to join in January.