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Clarence Seedorf Has Something to Say

Simon Kuper of the Financial Times gives writes entertaining portrait of AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf, the man who after Kaka, perhaps, is most responsible for the Rossoneri reaching Wednesday's Champions League final against Liverpool. "Well-meaning," "intelligent," self-righteous and supremely confident, Seedorf has one problem, according to his teammates: He won't shut up. Former England international Steve McManaman, who played at Real Madrid with Seedorf, recalls that the Dutchman used to step forward in training and say, "You don't want to do it like that. You want to do it like this. And then you want to give me the ball." Once, when Seedorf interrupted Coach Fabio Capello during a halftime lecture and started explaining tactics, the Italian threw down his jacket and yelled, "If you know it all so well, you be the coach!"

It's a credit to Milan's psychologists that the club has been able to retain such a "bizarre" character for five years, Kuper says. "De facto chairman of his kindergarten," Seedorf was the arbitrator of toy disputes and counsel for kids who missed their parents. Years later, Seedorf still fancies himself as the man on the moral high ground. At 31, he certainly has the experience: three Champions League titles with three different teams, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch league championships, as well as several domestic cups. Seedorf is now set on winning his fourth Champions League winner's medal, which Kuper points out would be two more than Manchester United has achieved in its history.

Read the whole story at Financial Times »

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