Rio de Janeiro, March 10: Clarence Seedorf is yet to adapt to Brazilian football more than eight months after his arrival at Botafogo, according to the Rio de Janeiro club’s coach Oswaldo de Oliveira.
The former Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder has played 33 matches and scored 13 goals for Botafogo in an unfamiliar attacking role just behind the strikers, reports Xinhua.
“Seedorf is very harsh on himself. He says he still hasn’t fully adapted and makes a big effort to reach the high standards he sets himself. He puts pressure on himself, so I try to help him by making sure that his teammates understand his way of thinking and vice-versa. He has made a big effort to adapt,” de Oliveira said Saturday.
De Oliveira added that Seedorf has improved with every match this season and cites the 36-year-old as key to the team’s hopes against rivals Vasco da Gama in Sunday’s Guanabara Cup final at the Engenhao Stadium.
“There has been a difference in his development in the first couple of games this season… It’s a question of time and something he is still getting used to.”
Botafogo advanced to the final after defeating Flamengo 2-0 while Vasco overcame Fluminese 3-2 in the other semifinal.
Seedorf said he would not settle for anything less than victory in his first attempt at silverware in Brazil.
“I am motivated because competition is important. It’s always better to win than to lose. If you get used to winning, it can be very important. I don’t have butterflies in the stomach but we are focused on trying to replicate or even improve on the form we showed against Flamengo,” Seedorf said.
Seedorf joined Botafogo in July last year after ending a 10-year spell with Italian giants AC Milan. He won 87 international caps for the Netherlands between 1994 and 2008.