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Soccer: Seedorf signs up to be Milan coach till 2016

Club make announcement via @acmilan Twitter account

16 January, 17:19
Soccer: Seedorf signs up to be Milan coach till 2016 (By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) - Milan, January 16 - Clarence Seedorf on Thursday signed a contract to take over as coach of his former club, Serie A giants AC Milan.

The seven-time European champions broke the news by posting a photo of the former Netherlands midfielder signing a contract with Chief Executive Adriano Galliani on the club's Twitter account, @acmilan.

Milan then put a statement out on their website saying that the 37-year-old, who has no experience of coaching a top-level side, will be in their dugout until June 2016.

Seedorf then took charge of his first training session in the rain at Milanello, the club's training complex some 50km northwest of Italy's business capital.

The Dutchman helped Milan win two Serie A titles, two Champions League crowns and a Club World Cup, among other honours, during a 10-year stint as a player with Milan from 2002 to 2012.

He received a hero's welcome on his return to Italy on Wednesday, in time to see the end of Milan's 3-1 win over Atalanta in an Italian Cup game, following Tuesday's announcement that he was leaving Brazilian side Botafogo and retiring as a player to take over at Milan.

The Rossoneri, who are 11th in Serie A and trail leaders Juventus by 30 points at the season's half-way mark, sacked former coach Massimiliano Allegri on Monday after Sunday's humiliating 4-3 defeat to promoted Sassuolo.

"You can't say that I'm back as I never really left," Seedorf said Wednesday. "It's really important for me to see all this enthusiasm.

We have a lot to do to get the club back where it belongs and I'm very happy to be back here.

"At the moment, I feel very emotional and a sense of duty.

I have to give 100% to rebuilding the team, giving enthusiasm and a sense of confidence".

Seedorf is set to give his first press conference as Milan coach on Saturday ahead of his debut on the bench in Sunday's game against Hellas Verona at the San Siro.

As he does not have his coaching badges yet, he will have to be flanked by assistant coach Mauro Tassotti until the end of this season.

Many of Seedorf's former team mates and coaches have said they think he will be ready for the challenge even though he is a novice coach.

It is not an unprecedented move.

Fabio Capello was also basically a novice coach at the senior level when he was first put in charge of Milan in 1991.

He went on to help Milan win four Serie A crowns and a Champions League and then become one of the sport's most successful bosses.

Seedorf was the first footballer to win the European Champions Cup with three different sides. As well as winning it twice with Milan, he also lifted the trophy with Ajax in 1995 and Real Madrid in 1998.

He has taken over a side who are out of the Serie A title race and look unlikely to be able to finish in the zone to qualify for Europe's premier club competition, as they trail third-placed Napoli by 20 points.

But they are also the only one of Serie A's three representatives to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League and face Spanish side Atletico Madrid in the last 16.

They are in the quarterfinals of the Italian Cup too, courtesy of Wednesday.