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Seedorf eyes winning start against in-form Atlético

AC Milan will hope new coach Clarence Seedorf can end a run of UEFA Champions League exits against Spanish opposition as they host Club Atlético de Madrid.

Background: AC Milan v Club Atlético de Madrid ©Getty Images

Clarence Seedorf makes his coaching debut in a competition he won with three different clubs as his AC Milan side host Club Atlético de Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.

• Seedorf lifted the trophy with AFC Ajax (1995), Real Madrid CF (1998) and Milan (2003, 2007) – the only player to triumph with more than two teams. His first European task as Rossoneri coach is to plot the downfall of Atlético, who reached the last 16 as Group G winners, recording five victories and one draw.

• Milan, who qualified as Group H runners-up to FC Barcelona, lost to the Catalan side in each of the past two UEFA Champions League seasons – in the quarter-final stage in 2012 and the round of 16 last year.

Match background
• Atlético are seeking a first quarter-final appearance since 1997, when Diego Simeone was playing for the Rojiblancos. They enter their first competitive encounter with Milan full of confidence as one of only three teams undefeated in the group stage and are unbeaten in their last four away games in UEFA competition.

• Milan have conceded once in four home outings in Europe this season but have won only one of their last eight home games against Spanish visitors – a 2-0 first-leg success against Barcelona in the round of 16 on 20 February last year. Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari were the scorers that night but Milan subsequently went down 4-0 back in Barcelona where David Villa, now an Atlético player, got the third goal.

• Milan faced Barcelona in this season's group stage, drawing 1-1 at home but losing 3-1 away.

• Milan have lost their last four knockout ties against Spanish opponents: to Barcelona (2011/12 quarter-finals, 2012/13 round of 16, 2005/06 semi-finals) and RC Deportivo La Coruña (2003/04 quarter-finals).

• The Serie A club's home record against visitors from Spain is W11 D7 L6. Atlético's record in Italy is W3 D1 L4.

• The Spanish club won 3-1 at SS Lazio on their last visit to Italy, Adrián López and Radamel Falcao (2) scoring. The result set them on their way to a 4-1 aggregate triumph in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• Milan lost their first European Cup final 3-2 to Real Madrid in 1957/58 but beat Barcelona 4-0 in the 1993/94 final. They also lifted the 1989 UEFA Super Cup thanks to a 2-1 aggregate success against Barcelona, and beat Sevilla FC 3-1 in a one-off UEFA Super Cup match in 2007.

• Atlético won their first European trophy with a 3-0 replay victory over ACF Fiorentina in the 1961/62 European Cup Winners' Cup final. More recently they defeated Milan's neighbours FC Internazionale Milano 2-0 to capture the UEFA Super Cup in 2010.

Team ties
• Seedorf and Simeone are facing off for the first time as coaches but were well acquainted as players. The pair met for the first time in a Madrid derby with Seedorf's Merengues prevailing 3-1 at home on 14 June 1997.

• Seedorf was an unused substitute for the Netherlands team that beat Simeone's Argentina 2-1 in the 1998 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals. The following season the pair met in the UEFA Champions League group stage, Seedorf scoring the second goal in Madrid's 2-0 home win over Simeone's Inter in September 1998 and striking again in a 3-1 defeat at San Siro two months later.

• When Seedorf was at Inter, he lost the Coppa Italia to Simeone's Lazio 2-1 over two legs in 2000. Both players scored in the first meeting, Simeone getting what turned out to be the decisive goal after Seedorf's opener had been cancelled out by Pavel Nedvěd.

• Seedorf also lost the 2000 Italian Super Cup 4-3 to Simeone's Lazio. He watched on from the bench in May 2002 when Inter suffered a 4-2 last-day defeat away to Lazio in Rome that cost the Milan club the Scudetto, Simeone scoring one of the goals.

• In four years at Madrid (1996-2000), Seedorf appeared in seven Liga derbies against Atlético, winning three and losing two, and scoring twice. In January 1997 he marked his Madrid derby debut with an 84th-minute goal at the Vicente Calderón in a 4-1 triumph.

• Simeone spent two years at Inter between 1997 and 1999, winning the 1997/98 UEFA Cup and scoring in two derbies against Milan. He hit the opening goal in a 2-2 draw on 22 November 1997, and two more in Inter's 3-0 victory on 22 March 1998.

• Simeone also had spells in Italian football with AC Pisa 1909 (1990-92) and Lazio (1999-2003), where he won the Serie A title in 2000. He had a spell coaching Calcio Catania in 2011, losing a home league fixture 2-0 to Milan in January that year.

• Christian Abbiati made 21 Liga appearances for Atlético during a loan spell from Milan in 2007/08.

• A Real Madrid player between 2009 and 2013, Kaká scored five minutes into his derby debut in the Spanish capital, a 3-2 away victory against Atlético in November 2009. All three of his league derby appearances came at the Vicente Calderón and all three ended in victory. Robinho won all four derbies against Atlético during his three seasons in Madrid (2005-08).

• Cristián Zapata spent 2011/12 at Villarreal CF, suffering home and away defeats against Atlético. The on-loan Adil Rami has been at Valencia CF since 2011, and was part of the team that lost 4-2 away and 1-0 at home against Atlético in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League semi-finals.

• Tiago played for Juventus between 2007 and 2010. Just one of his 42 Serie A appearances came against Milan, a 3-2 home victory in April 2008. He had previously faced Milan in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with Olympique Lyonnais, playing in a 0-0 first-leg draw in France but missing the ensuing defeat at San Siro.

• Villa found the net at San Siro on 21 February 2007 when his Valencia CF side earned a 2-2 draw at Inter in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League round of 16. Besides scoring against Milan for Barcelona last season, he also had success against the Rossoneri in 2011/12 – scoring in a 2-2 home draw and featuring in a 3-2 away win.

• Villa was in the Spain team that beat Nigel de Jong's Netherlands 1-0 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.

• Michael Essien was in the Real Madrid side that lost last season's Copa del Rey final to Atlético, going down 2-1 in extra time at the Santiago Bernabéu. He had played in Madrid's 2-1 away Liga win on 27 April.

• Toby Alderweireld and Urby Emanuelson played together at Ajax from 2008 to 2011. They were in the Ajax side that won 2-0 at Milan in the 2010/11 group stage, Alderweireld scoring the second goal.

• Ignazio Abate, Mario Balotelli and Riccardo Montolivo were in the Italy team beaten 4-0 by Spain in the UEFA EURO 2012 final.

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