Former Netherlands midfielder Clarence Seedorf, the only footballer to have won the UEFA Champions League with three different clubs, has announced his decision to cut short his playing career to become the new AC Milan coach.
The 37-year-old left Milan to join Brazilian club Botafogo FR in 2012. During a ten-year stint with the Rossoneri he won the UEFA Champions League and Serie A twice apiece. Capped 87 times by the Oranje, Seedorf also lifted Europe's premier club trophy with AFC Ajax and Real Madrid CF.
"I am quitting football after 22 years," said Seedorf during a press conference in Brazil. "Last night was a difficult one for me but I'm satisfied with what I've achieved during my career and with Botafogo. I want to hug my team-mates and wish Botafogo all the best.
"I want to thank everybody because this experience [in Rio de Janeiro] has helped me to grow. I'm sure it will also be very useful for the next step in my career, as Milan coach. When [Milan president Silvio] Berlusconi called me, it was impossible to say 'no' considering the relationship I have with him. Here in Brazil I learned how to adapt to difficult situations and try to improve everything that was possible to improve."
Seedorf, who also played for UC Sampdoria and FC Internazionale Milano during his stay in Italy, is expected to replace Massimiliano Allegri on Wednesday – Allegri having parted company with Milan on Monday. The Rossoneri, who will face Club Atlético de Madrid in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, are six points above the relegation zone in the Italian top flight.
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