Clarence Seedorf – Mr. Champion League
This season will be Clarence Seedorf’s 15th at the top level in football but far from winding down towards retirement, the 31-year-old midfielder is at the peak of his powers, having played some of the best football of his career in helping AC Milan to success in the UEFA Champions League last season – Seedorf’s fourth Champions League title.
Seedorf’s form convinced Netherlands national coach Marco van Basten to recall the powerful player last November after a two-year absence, increasing the chances of the Suriname-born midfielder appearing at EURO 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. When Van Basten left Seedorf out of the 2006 World Cup campaign, the player’s international career looked over but he refused to accept that and set about playing his way back into the team. “My determination paid off in the end,” Seedorf said. “I never lost hope of playing for my national team.”
Whatever he might still achieve in the orange of the Netherlands, Seedorf s name will be forever linked with the UEFA Champions League. When Milan beat Juventus to lift the trophy in 2003, Seedorf, at 27, became the first player to have won the Champions League with three different clubs, following successes with Ajax in 1995 and Real Madrid in 1998.