Bursting onto the scene at 16 years of age Clarence Seedorf was already breaking records, this time he was the youngest player to ever play for Ajax’s senior squad. He had three successful years in Holland winning a Champions League and back-to-back league titles in ’94 & ’95 and two personal accolades: Dutch Talent of the Year ’93 & ’94. Such personal achievements are great but also when put into perspective seem even greater, other young players in Seedorf’s Ajax team alone were Van der Sar, F. De Boer, Rijkaard, Davids, Overmars, Kanu and Kluivert… Seedorf stood out from this golden crop of players and one one of the first to explore pastures anew.
Clarence arrived in Genoa and played for Sampdoria during his first year in Serie A, another great team at the time who were more than happy to welcome the Dutchman. Seedorf only played there for one year before being poached by Spanish giants, Real Madrid. His time in Spain was again successful, in three years there he won another Champions League and a league title. After falling down the ranks at Madrid when new manager Hiddink took over he left to go back to Italy. Inter Milan paid heavily for the Dutchman’s services hoping that he would help bring them trophies as he had done so far his entire career. Sadly for both parties involved this did not happen, Inter were still in a dry spell despite big name and money signings. Seedorf swiftly moved to the other side of the city after rumours that he had been sleeping with Ronaldo’s wife had made the national news and everyone knew apart it from Il Fenomeno. Inter had to make a choice: Ronaldo or Seedorf… They sold the Dutchman but also lost Ronaldo shortly after.
After transferring to AC Milan he found himself again amongst champions and winners. Behind him he had the likes of Maldini and Nesta and in front of him Shevchenko… It was a team ready to win and that it did. Seedorf won his third Champions League with Milan making him the only player ever to win three Champions Leagues or more with different clubs. He also won league titles and cups with Milan. In the summer of 2012 the club announced that they would not be renewing Seedorf’s contract along with a whole mass of others. It was the end of an era for the club. Clarence took his time and weighed up offers which were coming in from all angles and finally decided to sign for Botafogo in Brazil. The deal was a massive coup for the club and they made Seedorf the highest ever paid non-brazilian to play in the league – he signed a two year contract. It took him only four games to open his scoring account with a fantastic freekick. Sadly, this will be the Dutchman’s final adventure.
Clarence Seedorf has had a fantastically unique career which very few will ever emulate, he is truly one of the elite players to have ever played the game. A champion from the very beginning.