Tuesday February 25 2014
‘I want players to enjoy themselves’

Milan Coach Clarence Seedorf says that more than anything else he wants his players to enjoy and express themselves on the pitch.

In an in-depth interview with Gazzatta dello Sport, the Dutchman also said that offensive tactics in football did not really exist.

“I want the players to play, laugh and enjoy themselves,” Seedorf said. “I never get too annoyed if there are any mistakes.

“I need to show them that above everything that they have done well.

“Even if it’s only for ten minutes, then great, it can become twenty, then thirty, and eventually a whole match.

“You journalists are so passionate about tactics and systems, you talk about it for hours!

“But do you know what the truth is? That in modern football there are only systems for the defensive side of the game.

“In attack there is total fluidity, six players who move and interchange constantly without there being an out and out reference point.

“Because of this, questions about our style of play annoy me!

“I have a plan and it is simple, I want my children to live in a better world than this.

“That is why my foundation, Champions for Children, exists, to educate through sport.

“And sport as a whole, not just football, is a fantastic point of reference for us adults too.”

Seedorf then gave a telling insight into the character of Mario Balotelli.

“Mario, in reality, is a very kind, sweet and sensitive person who feels burdened with enormous responsibilities that are actually not his.

“We should take those off him, and maybe even free him from feeling like he has to be a symbol.

“We must give him back his sense of self-worth and allow him to develop as a person.

“This includes allowing him to make mistakes.

“Only this way will he become a complete champion. That day will be a victory for me and for everyone.”

The Dutchman was also asked about the various Coaches he worked under.

“I started with Van Gaal, a distant memory,” he replied. “I appreciated Ancelotti, Lippi and Capello massively.

“Fabio was the man who transformed me.

“Under him I stopped running round the pitch in search of glory, he gave me a position and above all the conviction that helped me become a leader.

“The three Italians definitely had something extra.”

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