Clarence Seedorf has backed Carlo Ancelotti to succeed in his upcoming job in Brazil, while also considering him the best of his career.
Ancelotti is reportedly set to take charge of the Brazil national team after his contract with Real Madrid expires in the summer of 2024.
The 64-year-old would thus oversee the Copa America campaign in the US, with the Selecao looking to lift the trophy for the 10th time and reclaim it after being dethroned by fierce rivals Argentina in the final last time.
Two years later, he then returned to the USA, along with Canada and Mexico, to lead the charge at the World Cup. The five-time champions will be looking to end a 24-year drought, with only one semi-final to come in that period.
A move to Brazil would bring the curtain down on Ancelotti’s wildly successful stint with the biggest club side on the planet, Madrid, which saw two spells.
He brought the coveted ‘Decima’ (10th title) of the Champions League back to Spain in 2013/14 and won the same European trophy during his current tenure in 2021/22.
In addition, he has lifted La Liga and the Supercopa de Espana once, the Copa del Rey twice, the Club World Cup twice, the UEFA Super Cup twice and unlocked the best of a host of superstar talents – from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the second era of the ‘Galacticos’, Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo in the new look of the younger crop, as well as Karim Benzema in both stints.
The central pair, who have both spoken of their love of Ancelotti’s coaching style, now look set to continue working under him at international level. Seedorf told The Sporting News: “I consider Brazil still the biggest producer of talent when it comes to football.
“I think Africa is knocking on the door, but it needs a little more. It’s amazing how many talents [from Brazil] are in the biggest clubs in Europe. His way of management fits very well with the Brazilian mentality.
“I hope he can adapt to the culture. He’s Italian, so the Italian part of life in a certain way for the game is different from Brazil – but that might be what the Brazilian team needs to come back and perform better.” than they have done lately.
“Ancelotti doesn’t have to prove himself anymore. Coaching the national team and training every day is a big difference. But coaching the national team and coaching the Brazilian national team is also a big difference!”
As the midfielder icon – who currently devotes himself to youth production and founded the SK Performance Club football school in Canada – hints at, Ancelotti is renowned for his calm demeanor with a huge ego.
Man-management, a far cry from many ultra-intensive modern coaches such as Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, is key for the Italian. He became the only manager to oversee a title win in each of Europe’s five major leagues and the only manager to lift the coveted Champions League trophy four times.
Clubs, where Ancelotti has had success, include AC Milan and Chelsea. Seedorf played under him in the former, where he enjoyed the most trophy-laden period of his storied playing career – and revealed the pair were very close to repeating the trick that would see the gifted midfielder link up with his dream centre. -forward.
Seedorf said: “I was close to playing with [Didier] Drogba. He was the perfect striker for the way I played, the passing. We talked about it and he was happy. I almost went to Chelsea and it didn’t happen. .
“When Ancelotti went to manage Chelsea [in 2009] we had some very serious talks but unfortunately it didn’t happen. You can’t have everything in life!
“[We had] so many good memories – the most special was meeting him when he signed for AC Milan. In the first season, winning the Champions League and after the final whistle, we were very close and I will never forget him jumping on me. Luckily I had enough to still hold him in my arms after 120 minutes! That was one of the first beautiful memories of wonderful relationship.
“I’ve played under amazing coaches – from [Louis] van Gaal, who took me to Ajax at 16, to [Fabio] Capella, who really cemented my talent at the highest level in Madrid, [Vicente] Del Bosque, [Marcelo] Lippi … But he was the manager where the chemistry was the best, for the longest time.
“When I came to AC Milan, I was 26. We played three Champions League finals and two semi-finals, another two cup finals. We were the leading team in the world at the time.”
Part four of The Sporting News’ exclusive sit-down with Seedorf will follow next week as the Dutch hero gives his take on Lionel Messi’s move to Inter Miami – with Seedorf also crossing the Atlantic at the end of his career.