Clarence Seedorf was disheartened by a lack of job offers in Italy after his stint in charge of Milan as he highlighted how few black coaches are working in professional football.
Netherlands great Seedorf spent 14 years of his playing career in Italy, representing Sampdoria, Inter and Milan, the latter of whom he enjoyed a decade with.
He ended his playing days in January 2014 and became Milan’s new head coach but was dismissed less than five months later.
Between January 2014 and the end of the season, Milan collected 35 points – the fourth-most in Serie A – and Seedorf won exactly half of his 22 matches in charge across all competitions.
Prior to Seedorf’s arrival that season, Milan’s haul of 22 points from 19 games was only the 11th best in Serie A. Similarly, the only Milan coaches to better his win rate in a single season since then have been Vincenzo Montella and Stefano Pioli.
Seedorf did return to coaching two years later with Shenzhen, before also having spells with Deportivo La Coruna and Cameroon, but it still troubles him how few opportunities in Italy have come his way.
“I wondered why I have not had other opportunities in Italy, I have two children born here,” he said at the Turin Sports Festival, according to Pianeta Milan.
“I don’t think it’s a racist country, I’ve always supported this and I think I understand how it is. There are racists, but [the country] isn’t.
“If one looks at what happened, there is little basis to understand that those who arrived [as head coach] after me at Milan immediately found a team [after then leaving Milan], and I didn’t even have one proposal. After 20 years in Italy… or they told me they didn’t want to offend me with a proposal.
“Send me a proposal, then I decide whether to be offended or not. It’s not only in Italy, there are few black coaches anywhere.
“I got my first serious proposal in China, I took it because I like to travel and I make every project an important thing.
“However, it is disappointing to see that after the experience at Milan, in which you do well, you do not receive a call.
“Football reflects society. I make it a life mission to create equality and inclusion. It should be the strength of the company.
“The world is now connected, there is no longer any way to keep people out. You are next to someone who does not resemble you, but who is more of your country than yourself, knows more… It was a difficult moment, I was aware of it, but I didn’t think it would happen with me.”
Leave a Comment