Four-time Champions League winner, Clarence Seedorf has revealed that he came close to moving to the Premier League on three occasions during his illustrious career, and could have been playing his football in England at various times had different choices been made.
Seedorf rose to fame as part of Ajax’s golden generation and won the Champions League in 1995 while still a teenager. The new Bosman ruling on free transfers contributed to the premature breakup of that great Ajax side and the midfielder joined Sampdoria that summer.
He later headed to Real Madrid after only 12 months in Italy, winning his second Champions League title in 1998, before joining Internazionale in 1999 and switching to AC Milan three years later, spending a decade with the Rossoneri and winning the Champions League twice more.
But Seedorf also had the chance to join Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
“It’s one thing to go every now and again to a country, it’s another thing living in a country. My experience in the UK, for example, has not been there during my career,” Seedorf said as he looked back on his time as a player.
“It’s something I have always thought of,” he said of moving to England.
“I was close to going to play in the Premier League. I almost signed three times – one time for Manchester United, one time for Arsenal, one time for Chelsea. They were all close, [but] I made different choices.
“I went to Real Madrid instead of England, I went to Inter Milan instead of England, and then I stayed at AC Milan instead of going to England. But you cannot have everything. [My career] was a wonderful experience, so I’m happy.”
Seedorf’s Milan side later knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage en-route to victory. The Dutchman was at the top of his game as Milan won 3-0 in the second leg.
Seedorf is revered for his time at Ajax and AC Milan, but he also played a major role in a top quality Real Madrid side that ended a 32-year wait for European glory when the club won the Champions League in 1998, beating heavy favourites Juventus in the final.
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