Operation Wonka is Go!

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

MILANELLO – Clarence Seedorf in his first press conference as Milan coach ahead of Milan-Verona on Sunday evening at 20.45 at the San Siro

“We ‘re all very lucky to be able to do our job almost as if it was a hobby. These were my first words, to bring back joy and enthusiasm about playing football. I think that difficult moments have to be analyzed with a view to finding solutions and never losing sight of the quality that we have here. The team definitely haven’t expressed their quality in terms of the numbers they’ve produced but that can happen and I have no doubt that the situation will come back to what it once was. It all depends on how you work, you need enthusiasm and to get people back to the stadium with a convincing style of play. It’s easier to get results playing well. I don’t want to talk about the league position as sometimes the league table can be a terrible thing to look at. On a more positive point, no one is pointing the finger at anyone and we have very united group.

We’ll need time and the backing of the fans who will be, as always, the 12th man that I know so well from the delicate moments that I’ve been through in my career and they’ve always been a positive presence. They’ll help give the energy that the team needs and the team will give that energy back. I feel very good and that’s thanks to the Milan environment. I was here for 10 years and coming back after a year away, being welcomed here as I have been gives me a lot of energy and a strong will to get started.

I know my staff well. Mauro Tassotti is a very important man for this club. He always has been and we’re already working well together. It’s emotional to be here obviously. Everything I do, I do with a lot of intensity and I can’t not be emotional about the opportunity that I’ve been given. I have a lot to show and now a new career begins for me. I feel ready but it’ll be the work I do and the results achieved that’ll show if I can face this new challenge. I feel ready. It’s a challenge and I like challenges.”


On the possible formation: “I’ve never spoken about systems of play. That depends on the players that you have available and almost all coaches will adapt their style of play that best suits the players. I’ll play 4-2-3-1 to make the most of the quality that we have up front. We’ll play attacking football. We need time to work. I’m a bit believer in the philosophy of the game which is more important than systems of play.”

On Mario Balotelli: "Mario is a sweet guy and I knew him a little bit even before coming back. We all know his qualities. I’m here to help him grow and he’s given me his full availability. Our attacking philosophy will be in important for him.”


On President Berlusconi: "He’s a man who has done a lot for world football. I’m honored that he believes in me just as I’m honored to have the faith of Adriano Galliani. I’m happy to be here and to have their backing.”

On the team: "It’s a new year and there’ll be new energy. I’ve no doubts that the team has grown and so we should see the glass as half full. I’ve only been here two days and I still have to get to know the team and I’ll be trying to do that as quickly as possible and I’ll grow along with them. I’ll give them my ideas and from tomorrow we’ll take our first steps on a road that, with the willingness of all involved that I’ve seen already, will allow things to get better. Situations arise by themselves and based on what happens, decisions will be taken. I’ve been preparing for my post-playing career mentally for a very long time. I believe I gave all I had to give in Brazil and I felt satisfied enough to accept this new challenge. It was a duty as this club has given me so much and as soon as I got the call, I made myself available.”

On racism: "Racism exists all over the world and Milan is once again showing itself to be a courageous club and as always, actions count more than words.”

“Inside of me, I have a feeling of satisfaction. I did what I did as a player and now I want to open a new cycle as a coach. Kakà is a friend more than an ex-teammate. I know I can count on him as a person prior to as a player. He’s an extraordinary person and I’m sure that he’ll continue to grow with time. He’s already a reference point for everyone in terms of behavior and professionalism. The values that he represents and transmits will help me to move in the direction that I want go.

With the help of Filippo Inzaghi with the Primavera side and Filippo Galli with the entire Youth Sector, we have to bring back the values that the club has always had and not lose them. I hope that Van Batsen will come and see us as we need the presence of players who made history with the club and Marco Van Basten is definitely one of them.”

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