Clarence Seedorf: Records are there to be broken

The former Holland, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder, who holds the record for winning Europe’s premier club competition with three different clubs, could be emulated by Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso should the German champions lift the silverware in Milan next summer.

Clarence Seedorf holds the record for winning the UEFA Champions League title with three different clubs.   -  REUTERS

Four time UEFA Champions League winner Clarence Seedorf will be closely following Bayern Munich’s progress in the UEFA Champions League this year, even as Pep Guardiola’s side host Arsenal on Wednesday in Group F.

The former Holland, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder, who holds the record for winning Europe’s premier club competition with three different clubs, could be emulated by Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso should the German champions lift the silverware in Milan next summer.

“Records are there to be broken, that is how sport goes, but hopefully it will stand there for a while,” the 39-year-old, who lifted the title with Ajax, Real Madrid and twice with AC Milan, told www.sc.qa on the sidelines of the Aspire4sport Conference in Berlin last month. “I am proud of what I have achieved in my career. However, I am aware that a Bayern player [Alonso] could go on to match my feat should his team win the competition this year.”

Doha-based Aspire Academy, which hosted the conference, has been working in the field of youth development since 2004.

Seedorf, a product of the famed Ajax Youth Academy, won his first title with the Dutch giants in 1995 and repeated the achievement with Real Madrid in 1998, before his double triumph with Serie A heavyweights AC Milan in 2003 and 2007.

The Dutchman, who says he does not see “any favourites” in this year’s edition, was part of the Milan side that lost to Liverpool in the 2004-05 final in Istanbul, a game that marked Alonso’s first title win. The 34-year-old Spaniard then added a second European crown with Real Madrid’s historic ‘décima’ triumph of 2014.

Having started out his professional career in the Ajax Academy, Seedorf understandably is a votary of youth development and lauded Aspire Academy’s efforts to nurture future talent in Qatar and the world. “The mission of Qatar as a country I have to say is quite noble. I can only appreciate their efforts in trying to make a difference in the world,” said Seedorf.

The Dutch midfielder, who reached the semi-finals of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, added that hosting a global summit in Berlin was an inspirational choice. “The venue is a nice choice. Youth development is all about striving for excellence and hosting the event in the home of the world champions is inspirational,” he said.

Seedorf concluded by saying that the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar will inspire new generations to take up the sport: “Every World Cup inspires millions of people, especially youngsters. That will happen again. The World Cup inspires many people, and as in every World Cup there are always challenges. But we’ve seen they’ve always been overcome. I don’t expect anything different for 2022.”

The only previous instance of an Asian country staging the most popular sporting event on earth was in 2002, when Japan and South Korea were co-hosts.

Courtesy Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

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