Clarence Seedorf

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Clarence is widely regarded by players and commentators as one of the greatest midfield players of his generation. He is the first player to have won the Champions League four times and with three different clubs – Ajax in 1995, Real Madrid in 1998 and Milan in 2003 and 2007.

Clarence Seedorf started his career as a right midfielder for Ajax during the early 1990s. He made his professional debut on 29 November 1992 against Groningen at the age of 16 years and 242 days, making him the youngest debutant for Ajax ever.

Seedorf moved to Real Madrid in 1996, where he played in nearly every game. In his first season, he helped that team regain the La Liga title; in his second season (1997–98), he played a major role in the team’s Champions League success.

After two years with Brazilian side Internazionale, Seedorf moved to Milan in 2002. He won the Coppa Italia with Milan in 2003, which was the first time they had won the competition in 26 years. In the same season, Seedorf gained his third Champions League medal, to become the first player to win the Champions League with three different clubs.

Seedorf has dabbled in media-related work during recent years. He joined the BBC’s team covering the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, working as a television pundit alongside more established broadcasters such as Gary Lineker and Alan Hansen. He also presented a number of features for the BBC coverage, including one about Robben Island.

He also joined the BBC for their Match of the Day Live coverage of the 2012 UEFA European Championship in Poland and Ukraine. Seedorf was widely praised for his contribution to the BBC’s coverage, with a Daily Mail article praising his “classy, informed stints in the BBC studio”.

Because of his strong connection with the country Suriname where Seedorf was born, he is involved in many social development projects there. He built his own “Clarence Seedorf Stadium” in the district of Para in Suriname. For this, Suriname has honoured him to Commandor of the High-Order of the Yellow Star and recently in 2011 the Netherlands also honoured him to Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau (OON).

On 5 June 2009 Clarence Seedorf announced at a press conference after a meeting with Nelson Mandela that he had become the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s latest Legacy Champion. He joins Patrice Motsepe, Tokyo Sexwale, David Rockefeller, Peggy Dulany and Bill Clinton, who are also members of a select group of philanthropists who are helping to ensure that Mr Mandela’s legacy lives on.

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