Seedorf vows to make football "fun"

New AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf vowed to "bring back joy and enthusiasm about playing football" on Saturday.

Dutch former football player and new AC Milan football club coach Clarence Seedorf (C)

The 37-year-old, who played for the Rossoneri for a decade before leaving in 2012, was appointed as Massimiliano Allegri's successor on a two-and-a-half-year contract earlier this week, inheriting a team that have won just five of their 19 Serie A games this term and that trail leaders Juventus by 30 points.

But, speaking in his first press conference at Milanello on Saturday ahead of Sunday's visit of Hellas Verona, the former Holland midfielder was upbeat about the task in hand and keen to project only positive vibes.

"We're all very lucky to be able to do our job almost as if it was a hobby," he said on www.acmilan.com. "These were my first words - to bring back joy and enthusiasm about playing football.

"I think that difficult moments have to be analysed, with a view to finding solutions and never losing sight of the quality that we have here.

"The team definitely haven't expressed their quality in terms of the numbers they've produced, but that can happen and I have no doubt that the situation will come back to what it once was.

"It all depends on how you work. You need enthusiasm and to get people back to the stadium with a convincing style of play.

"It's easier to get results playing well. I don't want to talk about the league position as sometimes the league table can be a terrible thing to look at.

"On a more positive point, no-one is pointing the finger at anyone and we have very united group.

"We'll need time and the backing of the fans who will be, as always, the 12th man that I know so well from the delicate moments that I've been through in my career and they've always been a positive presence.

"They'll help give the energy that the team needs and the team will give that energy back. I feel very good and that's thanks to the Milan environment.

"I was here for 10 years and, coming back after a year away, being welcomed here as I have been gives me a lot of energy and a strong will to get started."

Seedorf, who was in his second season with Brazilian side Botafogo before retiring earlier this week in order to take up his new role, is relishing the next chapter in his glittering career.

"It's emotional to be here, obviously," said the Rossoneri boss, who is the only player to have won the Champions League four times with three different clubs - Ajax (1995), Real Madrid (1998) and Milan (2003 and 2007).

"Everything I do, I do with a lot of intensity and I can't not be emotional about the opportunity that I've been given.

"I have a lot to show and now a new career begins for me. I feel ready, but it'll be the work I do and the results achieved that'll show if I can face this new challenge. I feel ready. It's a challenge and I like challenges."

Seedorf was in the stands at the San Siro on Wednesday evening as Milan beat Serie B side Spezia 4-1 to set up a meeting with Udinese in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia.

They also take on Atletico Madrid next month in the last 16 of the Champions League, and the new man at the helm is confident his troops can turn their season around.

"It's a new year and there'll be new energy," he said. "I've no doubts that the team has grown and so we should see the glass as half full.

"I've only been here two days and I still have to get to know the team and I'll be trying to do that as quickly as possible and I'll grow along with them.

"I'll give them my ideas and from tomorrow we'll take our first steps on a road that, with the willingness of all involved that I've seen already, will allow things to get better.

"Situations arise by themselves and, based on what happens, decisions will be taken. I've been preparing for my post-playing career mentally for a very long time.

"I believe I gave all I had to give in Brazil and I felt satisfied enough to accept this new challenge. It was a duty as this club has given me so much and, as soon as I got the call, I made myself available."



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