Seedorf to play on despite charity work

MILAN - AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf plans to continue playing at the highest level for as long as he can despite his burgeoning charity work.

The Dutchman, whose Champions for Children foundation plans to build 100 playgrounds worldwide and will open a facility in South Africa after the World Cup, dashed the hopes of any suitors by describing Milan as 'home'.

"As long as I perform well at the highest level I will continue on the pitch," the 34-year-old, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"My relationship with Italy and Milan has been strong, especially for the last 10 years, and I became ambassador for Expo 2015 so I'm very much involved with the city. It's home."

Seedorf joined Milan in 2002 and his contract runs out in 2011.

As well as fronting the city of Milan's hosting of the international Expo exhibition, Seedorf keeps himself busy with his humanitarian work and owning a restaurant among other business commitments.

The only man to win the Champions League title with three different clubs can also still sparkle on the field and his superb last-gasp strike at home to Chievo last month gave Milan their last victory.

The Rossoneri have since drawn two and lost one in Serie A but remain three points behind leaders Inter Milan in an exciting race for the scudetto with seven games left.


Snatching an unlikely first title since 2004 would thrill Milan fans given owner Silvio Berlusconi's recent cost-cutting and would also boost Seedorf's charity.

"For the club it would be fantastic and there would be the effect on my charity work," the former Ajax, Real Madrid and Inter player said.

"That's what my position gives me. I need to use this situation to help the less fortunate through my fortune."

Seedorf will hold a international charity gala in Milan's sumptuous 14th century castle on April 8 to raise funds for his project, and make sure South African children can be using a new playground in the Cape Town township of Manenberg as soon as possible after the June 11-July 11 World Cup.

"We can give with joy and make others happy or help others in need. We can give them the opportunity to have instruments to create more self-esteem, dignity and growth through sports activities," added Seedorf, who has not played for the Netherlands since 2008 but plans to be present at the World Cup in any case.

Seedorf, who was nominated by former South Africa president Nelson Mandela as one of his five 'Legacy Champions' alongside the likes of Bill Gates, believes football cannot forget the country once the World Cup circus has been and gone.

"The playground will start as a tribute to Nelson Mandela. I will lead by example by making sure the project is in place shortly after the World Cup. We need to leave something behind."

Follow on Twitter
Join on Facebook