Soccer

Seedorf says he's new AC Milan coach

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Clarence Seedorf said Tuesday he will take over as the new coach at AC Milan, replacing Massimiliano Allegri who was fired the day before.

Seedorf made the announcement at Brazilian club Botafogo, where he has been playing. "The next step for me is as the coach of Milan," Seedorf told reporters. AC Milan told The Associated Press that the club's former midfielder will sign a contract, but that the formalities would follow his arrival in Italy on Thursday.

The 37-year-old Dutchman won the Champions League twice with AC Milan, and also won Europe's top club title with Ajax and Real Madrid. AC Milan has been struggling in Serie A, squandering a two-goal lead in a 4-3 loss on Sunday against Sassuolo. The club is 11th in the standings and six points clear of the relegation zone.

"The decision was made during the day, but the evening was difficult," Seedorf said. "I told my daughters at dinner, and it was relaxed. There were no cons. There are no cons. There are only pros at this moment."

In Italy, AC Milan spokesman Riccardo Coli told the AP that Seedorf "will sign and once he signs then we'll decide when the presentation will be." Seedorf has no formal coaching experience and will rely on his popularity and respect among fellow players to guide him at the beginning.

"Unfortunately, the life of a player is not forever," he said. Asked about the biggest challenge, he replied: "The most difficult thing is always adjusting. Here and there, people and cultures are different; the cultures of the football, of the clubs."

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti gave his former player a strong endorsement. "I coached him," Ancelotti said. "He's got a strong personality and he will be capable of handling this new experience. He knows the club well and I think Milan has taken this decision in the same manner as it has with (Arrigo) Sacchi or (Fabio) Capello. It's always turned out well for them. I wish the best of luck to Seedorf and Milan."

Follow Stephen Wade at http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP

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