Madrid (AFP) – Clarence Seedorf’s reign as coach of Deportivo La Coruna began with a 1-0 defeat at home to Real Betis on Monday that left his new club firmly in the relegation zone in La Liga.

The former Dutch international midfielder, 41, was appointed by the Galician side on a deal until the end of the season with the aim of keeping them in Spain’s top flight after the sacking of Cristobal Parralo.

But a solitary goal early in the second half at Riazor from Loren Moron — taking the forward to three goals in just two first-team games — condemned Deportivo to defeat and stretched their run without a win to eight games.

Seedorf, the former Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan star, saw his new charges denied twice by the frame of the goal, with Zakaria Bakkali curling an effort off the post in the first half and Florin Andone hitting an upright from a tight angle with 20 minutes left.

Former champions Deportivo lie second from bottom in La Liga, three points from safety. Betis are eighth after back-to-back wins, and they host Real Madrid next.

Seedorf is the only player in history to have won the Champions League with three different clubs. However, he has only had two previous short and unsuccessful spells as a coach.

He coached Milan for 22 matches from January to June 2014 and spent 14 matches at the helm of Shenzhen in the Chinese second division from July to December 2016.