Clarence Seedorf will use Zinedine Zidane as inspiration at Deportivo
Clarence Seedorf says Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is a great example of how quality and potential can help someone overcome limited coaching experience.
Seedorf, appointed as Deportivo La Coruna coach on Monday until the end of the season, is convinced he can keep the struggling La Liga side in Spain’s top flight.
A former Real Madrid player, Seedorf’s previous coaching experience was a short spell at AC Milan and at China League One side Shenzhen FC.
“This is a club with a lot of history and I will coach in a league that launched me as an international player. It gave me a lot.” Seedorf said at a news conference.
“Football is not that easy for coaches. There are many, and that is why I’m grateful for this opportunity. You have to believe in young people, in the new generation. Zidane is an example. He probably had less experience than I have when he started [coaching] in Madrid and look what he has done. You have to consider the quality of the person and the potential.”
Zidane had no top flight management experience when he replaced Rafa Benitez in January 2016 yet steered Real Madrid to Champions League glory that season. In 2017, Zidane’s side won a club record five titles in a calendar year, including La Liga and retaining the Champions League.
After a brilliant 22-year playing career, Seedorf’s early managerial career has proved somewhat difficult.
He coached AC Milan for 22 games in 2014 before a 13-game spell with Shenzhen FC, which ended in 2016.
“It wasn’t the best time and that’s life,” the 41-year-old said regarding his four-month spell with the Italian giants. “You can’t always have luck or have things go the way you would like. Milan is in the past and now I have the opportunity to prove what I believe I do well.
“This is a difficult challenge and I like challenges.”
Under Cristobal Parralo, who replaced Pepe Mel in October, Depor mustered just two wins while losing eight 13 league games.
The latest loss, 5-0 at Real Sociedad on Friday, left them in 18th place — three points adrift of Levante, who hold the last position of safety.
“I’m here because I believe I can give something important to the club and vice versa,” Seedorf said. “We have to create a strong identity. I have very clear ideas and I’ve seen potential. We can only improve. I hope that by Monday against Real Betis we can already send a signal to everyone.”
Depor host Real Betis on Feb. 12 and club president Tino Fernandez is optimistic that the Dutchman, the team’s third coach of the season, will get the job done.
“We need someone that can lead and he can do that,” Fernandez told Onda Cero radio. “That is why we chose him. We have been lacking players that can lead on the pitch and that is what we need on the bench.”
Seedorf signed a contract until the remainder of the season but Fernandez does not rule out extending his stay.
“He has come to [avoid the drop] and in June we shall speak,” Fernandez said.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.