Mar 292013

After his sending off in the game against Madureira last Sunday, Clarence Seedorf appeared in a recent press conference which was transcribed for the official Botafogo website by Danilo Santos. Here’s a link to the article in Portuguese, or read on for a rough translation of what Seedorf said.

On his Sending Off

“I sleep well and i’m relaxed. It’s like there was a natural disaster with multiple deaths, but it was just an incident in a football game. I’m a little worried about the tension which is created. Something so small has been turned into a negative view for the whole world to see, which is disappointing because it’s unnecessary and could have been avoided, but it happened.”

“I wanted to go through some of the things which i have read and seen in reports, and put these things in perspective. During my 900 game career i have hardly ever been punished for disrespecting the referee, and i respect their role within the game. I know how to behave towards the officials, even when there was a penalty against us and several hard tackles in the second half, i said nothing. There is always a lot of pressure from the players, but not from me and this is my usual behaviour. Keeping a respectful stance towards the referee, and not causing trouble.”

“I’ve always respected the laws and had respect for the referees, which is different to many players! I have been substituted many times in my career and have never left by the nearest touchline, always by the touchline where the fourth official stands. Football is also entertainment and it’s usual for the fans to want to clap a player off or show appreciation. It’s common in Europe that you will be in the corner of the other half and the referee can add time on. For me it’s normal to leave by the main exit.”

“They said i was wanting to waste time and i was ill disciplined, but when i want to waste time i do so with the ball at my feet and never otherwise. As against Vasco when they took the ball to the back of the pitch. I saw Cidinho coming on but i didn’t know i was coming off, and this was the main problem. The referee said i had to leave the field and i wondered why as i’d seen nothing on the board to suggest it was me coming off, but i trusted he must have seen. I went to leave in the middle and he gave me a yellow card. There were two Madureira players complaining, but i had good dialogue with the referee and was not complaining. I thought that if he’d already punished me, i could leave the field at the usual place.”

“The dialogue with the Madureira player was unbelievable: a fellow footballer trying to get you sent off. These are the same players which had asked me for my shirt during the game. The reaction of the referee wasn’t because of my actions, but because of the influence of the Madureira players.”

“The referee said i used a word – palhaçada – which isn’t a word i ever use. Even if it were the word isn’t a personal offence. The Madureira players probably told him i said it, and he got it wrong.”

seedorfOn Botafogo and the Upcoming Classico v Vasco

“The team and supporters of Botafogo have to stay focused on our goals. The aim here seems to be to create problems and take away the momentum we have at Botafogo, but we know that we can’t let it affect us. It cannot turn into an excuse to ruin what we’ve achieved so far, and we have to keep our focus and positivity. Nothing will change our commitment, dedication and focus. The distractions are occurring but it’s up to us to carry on doing our job, and i’m optimistic we can.”

“Everyone is looking into Brazil and this could be very negative for the country. I feel part of Brazil and would like to see the country do well with the messages it sends out to these critical eyes.”

“Botafogo is fine and isn’t dependent on Seedorf. The team can do well in the Classico without me, but Vasco have their own problems at the moment, and will have plenty of motivation for this game. However, i have confidence in the group and the team.”


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