Through the years, the Champions League has been marked by epic moments, unforgettable games, fantastic goals, and iconic players, with midfield legend Clarence Seedorf holding a special place in the competition’s history.
One of the most successful players in European football’s top club event, the former Dutch midfielder is the only footballer to have won the trophy with three clubs: Ajax (1995), Real Madrid (1998), and AC Milan (2003 and 2007).
His achievement in the tournament is a testament to his skill and versatility, making him a key asset to the teams he’s played on with his technical ability and tactical knowledge.
After retiring from playing in 2014, the Suriname-born star managed several clubs, including Milan and Deportivo La Coruna.
Seedorf is now in Istanbul to watch this season’s Manchester City-Inter Milan final match, set to be played Saturday in the Olympic Stadium at 1900 GMT.
The 47-year-old participated in the Champions Festival — a four-day event at the Yenikapi Event Space in the city’s historical Fatih district.
Legendary players came together for the “Ultimate Champions Tournament” ahead of the Champions League Final.
“It is special to be here. I think that, like all the finals, I expect always a big fight technically, physically. I don’t think that it’s going to be very different this time,” Seedorf told Anadolu as he shared his expectations on the final showdown.
He added that it was not easy to predict which side would have the upper hand in Saturday’s game.
“I think they have a different way of playing. But they’re both very capable of winning the final.”
‘Happy moment, amazing event’
Istanbul will be hosting its second Champions League final.
The first was at the same stadium in 2005 between AC Milan and Liverpool. It was famously remembered as one of the most remarkable comebacks in the competition’s history.
AC Milan took a 3-0 lead in the first half but proved unable to stop a resurgent Liverpool in the second half, scoring three goals in just six minutes.
Liverpool lifted the trophy after defeating AC Milan 3-2 on penalties after the game ended 3-3. The match became known as the “Miracle of Istanbul.”
Seedorf was part of Milan’s 2004-2005 squad but was subbed off in the 86th minute of the final.
He visited Türkiye many times after the tragic final in 2005.
“It is just nice to be part of the Champions League final, which continues to bring people together. It’s a happy moment. This is an amazing event,” he said.
He added that following the twin earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on Feb. 6, he is happy the country is hosting the game for people to enjoy.
The best players have always distinguished themselves in this tournament, Seedorf said.
“It’s a dream for every kid to win the Champions League final. The best players have participated in this competition and still, they are,” he added.
“It is the most important cup for club football until today.”
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