Clarence Clyde Seedorf is a Dutch former footballer. Regarded by many as one of the best midfielders of his generation, in 2004, he was chosen by Pelé as part of the FIFA 100. Seedorf is one of the most decorated Dutch players ever, and has won domestic and continental titles while playing for clubs in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Brazil. Seedorf was a well-rounded, hardworking and versatile player, who was gifted with strength, pace, stamina and notable physical attributes, which allowed him to play anywhere in midfield and contribute both offensively and defensively, due to his significant tactical intelligence; although he primarily served as a playmaker in the centre, throughout his career he was also deployed as an attacking midfielder, on the wing, or in a holding or box-to-box role. In addition to his fitness and athletic characteristics, as well as his ability to break down opposing plays and win back possession, he was an elegant, creative player and an excellent dribbler, possessing outstanding technique, ball skills and vision, which enabled him to retain possession when under pressure and subsequently lay the ball off to an on-rushing team-mate; he was also an accurate passer and crosser of the ball. Seedorf was also capable of scoring goals due to his powerful, accurate striking ability from distance with both feet. Despite his physical, energetic, and tenacious style of play, Seedorf was regarded as a correct player, and was sent off only two times in his entire career. In addition to his success and footballing skills, Seedorf has also been praised for his longevity as a footballer.
NETHERLANDS NATIONAL TEAM
Netherlands vs Argentina
Match Worn Shirt
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Due to Surinamese rules against dual citizenship, players who take Dutch citizenship are no longer eligible to represent the Netherlands’ former colony. He received his first callup on 14 December 1994 at the age of 18 against Luxembourg. Seedorf scored on his debut, helping his team to a 5–0 victory in a UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying match. Seedorf was in the Dutch squad for the UEFA European Championships in 1996, where his penalty miss proved decisive in the quarter-final shootout defeat to France. He also appeared for the Netherlands at Euro 2000 and 2004, as well as the 1998 FIFA World Cup, reaching the semi-finals in all three of these tournaments. On 12 November 2006, Seedorf was recalled for the first time since June 2004 as a replacement for the injured Wesley Sneijder. He started and played the full 90 minutes in a 1–1 friendly draw against England. Seedorf won the last of his 87 caps for the Netherlands in 2008. In the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Romania (0–0 at home) and Slovenia (1–0 away win), Seedorf played four and six minutes respectively. There were doubts on his position within the national team, as Marco van Basten favoured younger players such as Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie. On 13 May 2008, Seedorf announced that he would not take part in UEFA Euro 2008 due to his ongoing personal conflict with Van Basten.
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Seedorf speaks six languages fluently: Dutch, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Surinamese. He was often seen as a spiritual, intelligent and articulate figure in football, and in a 2011 interview, Seedorf stated that he was studying to obtain a master’s degree in Business at the prestigious Bocconi University in Milan; because of this, he earned the nickname “il professore” (“the professor”) during his time playing at Milan. Seedorf is married to a Brazilian woman, Luviana Seedorf, with whom he owns a restaurant called Finger’s in Milan. They have four children. Seedorf has dabbled in media-related work during recent years. In 2009, he worked with the New York Times to run a column entitled “Seedorf responds”, where once a month he would answer peoples’ questions regarding football. He joined the BBC’s team covering the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, working as a television pundit He also presented a number of features for the BBC coverage, including one about Robben Island. He also joined the BBC for their Match of the Day Live coverage of UEFA Euro 2012. Seedorf was widely praised for his contribution to the BBC’s coverage, with a Daily Mail article praising his “classy, informed stints in the BBC studio”. He has also made appearances on Match of the Day 2 during the English football league season. Because of his strong connection with the country Suriname, where he was born, he is involved in many social development projects there. He built his own “Clarence Seedorf Stadium” in the district of Para in Suriname. In this stadium, the Para Juniors League of Suriname is being held and the teams of the Suri Profs & SV The Brothers play there regularly. With his Champions for Children Foundation, he supports projects for good causes in Suriname. For this, Suriname has honoured him to Commandor of the High-Order of the Yellow Star, and recently in 2011, the Netherlands also honoured him to Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau (OON). On 5 June 2009, Seedorf announced at a press conference after a meeting with Nelson Mandela that he had become the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s latest Legacy Champion. He joins Patrice Motsepe, Tokyo Sexwale, David Rockefeller, Peggy Dulany and Bill Clinton, who are also members of a select group of philanthropists who are helping to ensure that Mr. Mandela’s legacy lives on. In 2012 and 2014, Seedorf took part in Soccer Aid, a charity match at Old Trafford with former professional players and celebrities. He played for “The Rest of the World” team against England. In 2014, he scored a hat-trick, where The Rest of the World won 4–2; they raised over £4 million in total.
Match Worn Boots
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These boots were worn by Clarence Seedorf during the season 2006/2007 with A.C.Milan and Netherlands National team. The same model of boots were worn by him during the Champions League Final 2007 game between A.C.Milan and Liverpool F.C. which took place in Athens, “Olympic Stadium”, on May 23rd 2007. After two years with Inter, Seedorf moved to their city rivals A.C. Milan in 2002, in an exchange with Francesco Coco. Seedorf won the Coppa Italia with Milan in 2003, the first time they had won the competition in 26 years. In the same season, Seedorf gained his third Champions League medal, becoming the first player to win the Champions League with three clubs. The all-Italian final saw Milan beat Juventus on penalties after a 0–0 draw, despite Seedorf failing to convert his own penalty. The following season, 2003–04, Seedorf played a role in the Milan side that won the Serie A title. It was Seedorf’s fourth national league title of his career, following his two Dutch title wins with Ajax and his one Spanish win with Real Madrid. Seedorf played a major role as Milan reached the Champions League final again in 2005, scoring the only goal of the game in their opening group match against Shakhtar Donetsk on 14 September 2004 and appearing in all 13 competition matches. He started the match against Liverpool in Istanbul in which Milan lost a 3–0 lead, eventually losing on penalties after a 3–3 draw; Seedorf did not take a penalty-kick. Milan also finished runners-up in the Serie A, seven points behind champions Juventus, although Juventus were stripped of the title and Milan docked points for match-fixing. A match-fixing scandal tarnished Serie A and Milan were weakened by the scandal but were allowed to continue in Europe the following season, which led to their top players remaining with the club. In that season, 2005–06, he scored a goal after just 25 seconds in a 2–2 draw against Schalke. Seedorf’s role as foil to midfielder Kaká became increasingly impressive as the pair combined in style to score and supply the goals which drove Milan past Bayern Munich and Manchester United to another Champions League final, again against Liverpool. This time, however, they defeated them 2–1 in Athens, with Seedorf collecting his fourth Champions League medal. In that same year, Seedorf was a part of the Milan squad that won the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup, becoming the first European player to win the trophy with three clubs (Ajax in 1995 and Real Madrid in 1998). He ended up winning the Silver Ball for the competition for his performances, notably scoring the winner against Urawa Red Diamonds in the semi final to send his club to the final. At the end of the 2006–07 season, Seedorf was voted best midfielder of the Champions League. He played his 100th game in the Champions League on 4 December against Celtic. With Milan, Seedorf formed a formidable midfield partnership with Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo, which began since the 2002–03 season. This midfield trio was still used in the starting line-up until the 2011–12 season (Pirlo left the Rossoneri in the summer of 2011), although their form had been declining. Under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti, their role was to support an attacking midfielder, whether it be Rivaldo, Rui Costa, Kaká or Ronaldinho. Seedorf became the foreigner with the most appearances for Milan following a game against his former club, Sampdoria, which he scored in. At 395 appearances, he passed Nils Liedholm for this historic milestone. During the Sampdoria game, he also became the ninth-highest scoring foreigner for Milan, with 58 goals. On 29 March 2010, Seedorf was the target of racist chants from Lazio fans in a 1–1 draw, which led to the Rome-based club being given a €15,000 fine by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). This led the Italy’s players’ union want racism stamped out in Serie A. Seedorf won his second Scudetto with Milan in the 2010–11 Serie A season, where he once again played a vital role. He scored four goals and made 36 appearances in the 2010–11 season. Seedorf added yet another medal to his trophy cabinet in the first official game of the 2011–12 season, where he played the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 comeback win over rivals Inter Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana. He scored the winning goal of Milan’s first win of the 2011–12 Serie A campaign, a 1–0 defeat of Cesena on 24 September. Seedorf was ranked seventh of the 20 best players of the Champions League, a list which was compiled in 2012 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the competition. The ranking was done by Champions, the official magazine of UEFA. On 14 May, he said that he was playing his last match with Milan against Novara that day. He also confirmed that he would continue to play football for another club. On 21 June, Seedorf held a press conference announcing his departure from Milan, stating, “I am leaving after 10 wonderful years… I leave a family” after playing for the Rossoneri for a decade and winning two Champions League, two Scudettos and a Coppa Italia. Club CEO Adriano Galliani spoke of Seedorf following the player’s departure in the highest regard, stating, “When Milan played well, which happened often, each and every time it occurred Seedorf played an amazing match. He is a world class player.”