Clarence Seedorf yesterday broke down in tears after announcing his retirement as a professional footballer. The four time UEFA Champions League winner — with Real Madrid, Ajax and twice with AC Milan — has played his final game at Botafogo in Brazil, and will be announced this week as the manager of AC Milan after Massimiliano Allegri was sacked earlier this week.

Seedorf will become only the second black coach ever to manage in the Serie A after Jarbas Faustinho managed Napoli between 1994-95. The talented Dutch midfielder, who has never managed before, will take over a Serie A side who are 30 points behind Juventus in the league.

Regarding his opportunity to manage at AC Milan, Seedorf had this to say:

“The sacking of Allegri was decisive in my decision making.

“I could not say no to Milan after spending 10 years with the Rossoneri.

“I like challenges, and coaching Milan will be another challenge in my career. I made the decision to join Milan [on Monday], but [Monday] night was a difficult night for me. But I’m sure I made the right choice.

“I don’t know which formation I will use at Milan. I’ve played with seven of them, and that will help me.

“The contract I signed is for two and a half years. I’m delighted with the opportunity the club have given me and I’m very motivated to do well.”

While Seedorf has no managerial experience, he has worked under some of the elite managers in the game and will have gleaned a lot of insight into how to get the most out of his players. The former Dutch midfielder commands respect and has proven himself on the world’s stage. So in dealing with unique talents who are unpredictable — a player like Mario Balotelli — Seedorf should be able to deal with him better than managers who played in a different era.

As a footballer at AC Milan, Seedorf helped Milan win two Scudettos, two UEFA Champions League trophies, one Coppa Italia, two Supercoppa Italiana, two UEFA Cup trophies and one FIFA Club World Cup trophy.

After playing for AC Milan for 10 years, Club CEO Adriano Galliani spoke of Seedorf, 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.”

Seedorf will be welcomed back at AC Milan with open arms. The Dutch star will begin work on rebuilding the side to make AC Milan a formidable force yet again after a poor season under Allegri.