With a day to go until the UEFA Champions League final, UEFA.com scratched its head to track down a suitably unique achievement – introducing Clarence Seedorf.
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With the European Cup now in its 60th year – 23 as the UEFA Champions League – there cannot be too many unique feats remaining. However, Clarence Seedorf is still the only player to have won it with three different clubs, an unprecedented achievement which seems the ideal way to mark one day to go until this season's final in Berlin.
1994/95: AFC Ajax
Seedorf was a key member of Ajax's golden generation that peaked in the 1994/95 UEFA Champions League. Two 2-0 group-stage victories against AC Milan boded well and Louis van Gaal's charges repeated the trick in the final, defeating the Rossoneri 1-0 courtesy of substitute Patrick Kluivert's late strike. "Everyone dreams of winning a European Cup final and I was lucky to do it at just 19," said Seedorf. "As soon as I woke up [the day after the final] I felt different, strange, somehow special."
1997/98: Real Madrid CF
Seedorf left Ajax after that glorious night in Vienna, spending a single season with UC Sampdoria before moving to the Spanish capital. He tasted European success in his second campaign in Madrid, helping the Merengues oust holders Borussia Dortmund in the semis. The midfielder then encountered former team-mate Edgar Davids in the decider against Juventus, held at their old stomping ground, the Amsterdam ArenA. The showpiece was again settled by a solitary goal, Predrag Mijatović doing the damage midway through the second half. "Now I am going to have a party [in Amsterdam] and then again in Madrid," said Seedorf.
2002/03 and 2006/07: AC Milan
The Netherlands schemer joined FC Internazionale Milano in 2000 yet two years later signed for the Nerazzurri's city rivals. He promptly lifted Europe's biggest prize in his first term with Milan, after helping the Rossoneri scalp former employers Madrid in the group stage, Ajax in the last eight and Inter in the semis. Milan edged out Juventus in the final, prevailing on penalties – Seedorf missed his – after a goalless draw at Old Trafford. "It's incredible, incredible," he said afterwards. There was still more to come. Runners-up in 2005, Seedorf and Carlo Ancelotti's side gained revenge with victory against Liverpool FC in the 2007 Athens showpiece, Filippo Inzaghi getting both goals. Seedorf started the match and was substituted in stoppage time.