Word on the street suggested former AC Milan star Clarence Seedorf is set to take over as the new manager of AC Milan.
The man himself has now confirmed it.
On Tuesday Seedorf said he will take over as the new coach at Milan, replacing Massimiliano Allegri who was fired the day before following yet another defeat for the struggling Serie A side.
Seedorf made the announcement at his current club Botafogo as the Dutchman calls an end to his illustrious playing career.
“The next step for me is as the coach of Milan,” Seedorf told reporters. “The decision was made during the day, but the evening was difficult. I told my daughters at dinner, and it was relaxed. There were no cons. There are no cons. There are only pros at this moment.”
The 37-year-old Dutchman won the Champions League twice with AC Milan, and also won Europe’s top club title with Ajax and Real Madrid. He is expected to arrive on Thursday in Italy to sign the contract, as Milan turn to one of its greats to dig them out of a deep hole.
Struggling would be an understatement for how AC have fared this season, with their latest defeat coming on Sunday after they squandered a two-goal lead against minnows Sassuolo to lose 4-3. The club is 11th in the standings and only six points clear of the relegation zone however they are still in the UEFA Champions League and face Atletico Madrid in the last 16.
Seedorf has never had an official coaching role and is likely to lean heavily on the support staff already at Milan to start with.
Speaking about the end to his playing days, Seedorf was sad but is looking forward to the many challenges ahead as a manager.
“Unfortunately, the life of a player is not forever,” Seedorf said. “The most difficult thing is always adjusting. Here and there, people and cultures are different; the cultures of the football, of the clubs.”
In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.
But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.
[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]
In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.
For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.
From JPW on Merseyside:
“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”
The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.
And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.
Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.
If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.
Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.
Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.
“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”
So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.
As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.