Clarence Seedorf looked back at his time in charge of Milan, drawing attention to the limited number of black coaches working in football.
The former Inter and Milan midfielder spent six months working with the Rossoneri as their head coach from January to June 2014, overseeing 22 matches total, where he averaged 1.59 points per match. After leaving the club, he was out of work in football for two years before returning to coach Chinese side Shenzhen FC, where he spent five months before leaving in December 2016.
Speaking at the Turin Sports Festival, Seedorf spoke about his time as Milan’s head coach and the lack of offers he received after this experience.
“I asked myself why I didn’t have other opportunities in Italy, I have two children born here. I don’t think it’s a racist country, I’ve always maintained that and I think I understand how it is. There are racists, but it’s not.
“If you look at what happened there’s little basis to understand that those who arrived after me at Milan immediately found a team and I didn’t even get an offer. After 20 years in Italy…
“Or they told me they didn’t want to offend me with an offer. Make me one, then I’ll decide whether or not to be offended.”
The 46-year-old Dutchman then discussed his decision to move to China and the low number of black coaches working in modern football.
“It’s not just in Italy, everywhere there are few black coaches. I got my first serious offer in China, I took it because I like travelling and I make every project an important thing. But it’s disappointing to see that after my experience at Milan where I did well I didn’t get a call.
“Football reflects society. I made it a life mission, to create equality and inclusion. It should be the strength of society. Nowadays the world is connected, and there’s no way to keep people out anymore.
“You find yourself next to someone who doesn’t look like you, but who is more of your country than yourself, who knows more… It was a difficult moment, I was aware of it, but I didn’t think it would happen to me.”
After his time in China, Seedorf again had an 18-month break before taking over at Deportivo de La Coruña, where he oversaw 16 matches and averaged 0.75 points per game.
A month after that experience he became the head coach of Cameroon, where he spent a year and managed 12 matches in total, guiding the team to the Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16.