The Spanish side have agreed a £80million deal for the Manchester United star.
“My former club needed this transfer (Ronaldo) to tell the world that they are still the most famous team on the planet,” Makelele told skysports.com.
“I think they have gone backwards in the last few years when you compare them to Barcelona and Manchester United.
“People, me included, will say it is a lot of money, but it is worth it for a player of that quality.
“If Mr Perez has invested that money, it is because he feels he can recoup it. And I think Ronaldo is worth it.
“They now need to focus on their defence and they can become a force again.
“Manchester United and Barcelona are still the teams to beat next season, because with the money they now have United will be stronger again next season.”