Clarence Seedorf is desperate for AC Milan to beat FC Bayern München in order to maintain their momentum and qualify for the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
Nine from nine
Seedorf has been a revelation this season since his move from city rivals Internazionale FC in the summer. He has slotted perfectly into a relatively free role on the left of midfield as Milan have impressed both domestically and in Europe. They lead Group G with nine points from three games after wins against RC Lens, RC Deportivo La Coruña and Bayern, and Seedorf is confident they can beat the Bavarians for a second time in three weeks tonight.
'We will do it'
He told uefa.com: "It is extremely important for us to win on Wednesday and I think we will do it. Qualifying with two games to spare would allow us to train a bit harder and get ready for the next stage at the earliest possible moment. Also, Bayern are one of the best sides in Europe and it would obviously be good for us if they didn't reach the second round."
Seedorf realises that Bayern will be "extremely motivated" to win at the San Siro, especially as a draw or defeat allied with a Deportivo win in Lens would see them knocked out. However, he does not believe the German team's situation will make it more difficult for the home side.
'Keep our concentration'
He said: "True, they need to win and they are a good team but we are also playing well at the moment and just need to concentrate on ourselves. We need to keep up the momentum and keep our concentration at the highest possible moment, not only for Wednesday's game but for the whole season."
Seedorf, who after success with AFC Ajax and Real Madrid CF is one of five players who has won the Champions League with two different clubs, is just one example of how everything has come together for Milan this season. It took him no time at all to strike up an almost telepathic understanding with fellow midfield players Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso and Rui Costa and the quartet have been behind most of Milan's goals this season.
"Yes, it was a good move for me," he said. "I wasn't playing that much at Inter and I need to be playing regularly at this stage of my career. It is also true that the midfield has been working well and supplied the strikers with quality opportunities, but you also have to remember that our defence have been really strong and allowed us to get forward," he added.
More to come
And the bad news for the rest of Serie A - and Milan's opponents in Europe - is that they have not even reached top form yet, according to Seedorf. "We are not even at our best at the moment and we are fully aware of that. There are always things you can improve and even when we beat Atalanta [BC] 4-1 away on Sunday it was clear to us that we still need to improve some things," he said.
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