Clarence Seedorf

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Cameroon fire Seedorf, Kluivert

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Upset with how the national team was bounced from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the Cameroon Football Federation has taken a drastic and surprising measure.

[READ: Reports: Trippier set to join Atletico Madrid]

The Cameroon FF (FECAFOOT) announced on Tuesday that it had dismissed head coach Clarence Seedorf and his coaching staff, which includes Seedorf’s former Netherlands and Ajax teammate Patrick Kluivert. Seedorf and Cameroon were defeated 3-2 by Nigeria in the Round of 16, knocking The Indomitable Lions out of the tournament.

Cameroon had won the last AFCON tournament and were set to host again, but the Confederation of African Football (CAF) removed the tournament from Cameroon due to the anglophone political crisis.

Seedorf signed a four-year contract last August, bringing Kluivert along with him in his first attempt to coach international soccer. However, it appears that the bosses in FECAFOOT expected more from Cameroon at the AFCON, and the results have embarrassed the federation enough to sack a promising coach.

The news should be a boost to club teams across Europe, which could pick up two of the top young coaches with a ton of playing experience, both of whom are free agents.

Deportivo wastes penalty kick, remains winless under Seedorf

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MADRID (AP) — Clarence Seedorf remained winless as Deportivo La Coruna coach after a 0-0 draw with Espanyol in the Spanish league on Friday.

Deportivo squandered chances including a second-half penalty kick taken by Lucas Perez. Its winless streak reached 10 games in all competitions.

It was the third game in a row without a victory since Seedorf took over to try to avoid relegation. Deportivo was 18th in the 20-team standings, in the relegation zone.

In addition to the missed penalty, Deportivo twice hit the posts in front of a supportive crowd at Riazor Stadium. The players left the field applauded by the local fans despite the setback.

Perez’s penalty attempt was saved by Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez in the 65th minute. Lopez, who earlier this season stopped a penalty taken by Lionel Messi, dived to his right to stop Perez’s low shot.

The match marked the Deportivo debut of veteran Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari. He played alongside Seedorf at AC Milan, and was signed this week after a trial period.

Espanyol, 15th in the standings, hasn’t won in seven matches, since it ended Barcelona’s 29-match unbeaten streak in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. Espanyol’s last league win was in January, seven rounds ago.

Barcelona defends its seven-point lead in the standings when it hosts Girona on Saturday. Second-place Atletico Madrid visits Sevilla on Sunday.

Deportivo La Coruna hires Seedorf as coach

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MADRID (AP) Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna hired former Dutch player Clarence Seedorf as its coach on Monday for the rest of the season.

“I’m happy to have this opportunity to work in football again, in a club with so much history and in a league that gave me so much,” said Seedorf, who played for Real Madrid in the late 1990s.

The former defensive midfielder replaced Cristobal Parralo, who was fired on Sunday, two days after a 5-0 loss at Real Sociedad extended Deportivo’s winless streak to seven matches. The club is 18th in the 20-team Spanish league, in the relegation zone.

“It’s a difficult situation,” Seedorf said. “I like to take on these challenges. It would be easy to go to a place where everything is working well. I can help the club.”

After a long playing career at several top clubs, Seedorf made his coaching debut with AC Milan in 2014, staying on the job for a few months. He also had a brief coaching stint in Chinese football in 2016.

“We did a good job at Milan but it was a complicated moment for the club,” Seedorf said.

He said his lack of coaching experience shouldn’t be a problem, noting Zinedine Zidane had even less experience when he took over Real Madrid’s helm.

Seedorf played for Milan, Inter Milan, Sampdoria, Ajax, and Brazil’s Botafogo. He won the Champions League five times, two with Madrid, two with Milan, and one with Ajax.

Seedorf starts working on Tuesday, and his first match in command of Deportivo will be on Monday at home against Real Betis.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Report: Filippo Inzaghi set to take the head job at AC Milan

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Serie A and AC Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi is set to take the reins at San Siro despite precious little experience as a manager

According to Goal Italy, Inzaghi will take over the No. 1 slot at AC Milan after two seasons running their U-19 side.

AC Milan stumbled this season under Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf. While the club improved under the latter, it wasn’t enough to keep the Dutchman employed as Milan’s boss.

From Goal.com:

Milan has been searching for a replacement but has been put off its pusuit of Sevilla coach Unai Emery thanks to the high costs involved.

Club management figures, including owner Silvio Berlusconi and CEO Adriano Galliani, met Monday afternoon and have decided that Inzaghi is the only viable candidate to train the team next season.

Berlusconi and Galliani are expected to inform the former Italy international of their decision to promote him imminently.

AC Milan finished in eighth place in Serie A this season, three points back of No. 5 Inter Milan, 18 points back of No. 2 Roma and 45 back of scudetto-winning Juventus.

Mario Balotelli continues to grab headlines

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After Milan lost 2-0 to title-chasing Roma on Friday, Mario Balotelli found himself in the spotlight once more. The former Manchester City forward, who once made the news for setting his own house on fire while playing with fireworks, demonstrated that his own fuse is still rather short. When pressed for comment on his performance during the match, Balotelli sniped back at reporters, eventually tossing down the microphone and walking away.

During the match in Rome, Balotelli had no shots on goal, a statistic unique for the forward. His biggest involvement came around the half-hour mark, when he swiped the ball from Leandro Castan, outran two Roma defenders and found himself in prime position to shoot. Instead Balotelli tried to be too tricky, and when he couldn’t get his shot off, collapsed under a slight touch. The referee waved away his antics, and Roma took the lead ten minutes later.

With Balotelli putting out such an uninspired performance, it was no surprise that Clarence Seedorf chose to replace him with Giampaolo Pazzini with twenty minutes left to go. There was no tantrum, no tears this time, but cameras did capture the Italian directing what appeared to be a few extremely annoyed words in the direction of his coach.

It was after the match that Balotelli’s temper emerged. When questioned as to why he didn’t move about the field more, he responded, “”You don’t understand anything about football. Trust me, you really don’t.” The forward, speaking to Sky Italia, continued, “You always talk and talk, but there’s no point to saying any of these things. No point at all.”

As if his words were not enough to indicate his frustration, to signal the conclusion of the interview, Balotelli threw down the microphone and walked away.