Tuesday, January 14, 2014
SEEDORF RETIRES FROM FOOTBALL, LANDS AC MILAN JOB AS ALLEGRI IS SACKED
Former Netherlands midfielder Clarence Seedorf has announced that he is ending his playing career to become the new head coach of AC Milan, a club he played for reaching iconic status
Seedorf who is in his second season at Brazilian club Botafogo, was the leading candidate to replace Massimiliano Allegri, who was sacked on Monday.
Seedorf joined Botafogo in 2012 after a 10-year stint at the San Siro. Milan have yet to confirm his appointment.
The 37-year-old Dutch man is the only player to have won the Champions League four times with three different clubs - at Ajax (1995), Real Madrid (1998) and AC Milan (2003 and 2007).
'I am retiring from football after 22 years,' he said. 'It has been a difficult night but I am satisfied by what I've achieved in my career and what I've done at Botafogo.
'My aim is to dream again. I wish Botafogo and my team-mates the best.
'The level has increased thanks to everyone and I'm certain that the club will be able to remain at a high level.'
'Considering my relationship with the (Milan) president (Silvio Berlusconi), when he called me yesterday I couldn't say no after 10 years spent there (at Milan),' Seedorf said in a press conference on Tuesday at Botafogo's headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.
Seedorf inherits a team that is 30 points behind league leaders Juventus at the halfway stage of the campaign after Sunday's 4-3 defeat at Sassuolo.
That result brought to an end Allegri's three-and-a-half-year spell at the helm of the Rossoneri.
Allegri led Milan to a Scudetto and an Italian Super Cup in his first season in charge, 2010-11, but was enduring a frustrating campaign in Serie A before being dismissed.
Milan have won five and lost seven of their 19 league games and are 11th in the table and just six points clear of the drop zone.
Seedorf, who has a coaching badge but no managerial experience could make his coaching debut on Sunday evening at home to Hellas Verona and former AC Milan coach and current Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti does not believe that will be a problem.
'It's not the first time that Milan would make a choice like this one,' Ancelotti said before Seedorf's announcement. 'It happened with Arrigo Sacchi and with Fabio Capello and in both occasions, things went very well.
'I know Clarence very well as he was one of my players and has always shown great personality.
'I believe that he has the knowledge and the capacity to do anything he wants in football.
'He would face a new experience in a club he knows very well and this is important. I wish Milan and Seedorf the best of luck.'
The Rossoneri parted company with sporting director Ariedo Braida earlier this month to end his 27-year working relationship with Milan.
Back in December, the club underwent a board restructuring with club owner Silvio Berlusconi's daughter, Barbara, appointed as vice-president of the club.
Long-time vice-president and club administrator Adriano Galliani kept his job despite suggestions he might be shown the door and he has shared responsibility for day-to-day running of the club with Barbara Berlusconi, with Milan's ultra fans blaming poor leadership by the club's board for the Rossoneri's dismal season.