Seedorf joins Brazil club Botafogo on 2-year deal
SAO PAULO (AP) -Botafogo has signed Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf on a two-year contract, describing it as the biggest move by a foreign player in Brazilian club history.
Botafogo said on Sunday that Seedorf is expected to be officially introduced next week and will travel to Brazil in the coming days.
The 36-year-old Seedorf, who is married to a Brazilian, played last season with AC Milan.
"Just a few days after his official farewell to AC Milan, Clarence Seedorf has traded his red-and-black colors for the black and white of Botafogo,'' the player's official website said on Sunday.
Seedorf also played for Ajax, Sampdoria, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. He won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, with Real Madrid in 1998 and with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007. The midfielder played at the 1998 World Cup with the Netherlands, plus the 1996, 2000 and 2004 European Championships.
Botafogo is among the top four clubs in Rio but won its last Brazilian league title in 1995. It is currently ninth in the 20-team tournament, seven points behind leader Vasco da Gama but with a game in hand.
Some of Seedorf's new Botafogo teammates will include Uruguay striker Sebastian Abreu and Argentine forward German Herrera. Former Brazil midfielder Renato also plays for the traditional club.
"The negotiations began in July 2011, when we went to Italy to talk to him and discuss the possibility of bringing him to play in Brazil,'' Botafogo president Marcos Assumpcao said. "Last year he sent his people here to get information about the club, and then we picked up the pace in the negotiations.''
Financial details were not immediately disclosed, but Local media reported that Botafogo paid $9 million to acquire the midfielder, who is expected to debut in the Brazilian league against Gremio on July 22.
Ronaldinho's transfer from AC Milan to Flamengo at the beginning of last year was reportedly the biggest signing made by a Brazilian club. Ronaldinho recently signed with Atletico Mineiro after suing Flamengo for nearly $20 million in unpaid wages.
"It's wonderful to have a great football star like Seedorf playing in the Brazilian league,'' Ronaldinho said on Twitter. "He is a great friend and I'm very happy that he is coming to play here.''
Ronaldinho and Seedorf played together at AC Milan.
Seedorf will reportedly receive nearly $350,000 a month, a little less then Ronaldinho made with Flamengo when he arrived, according to the Brazilian media.
Seedorf had said recently that he was considering his options after leaving Milan, and there were rumors of a possible move to play in the United States, where he recently practiced with the Los Angeles Galaxy and former AC Milan teammate David Beckham.
There was also talk about offers from clubs in China and England, but the Brazilian media said that his wife's connection to the country made the difference in his final decision.
"He will be in the country which will be attracting the world's attention in the next few years with the Confederations Cup in 2013 and the World Cup in 2014,'' Assumpcao said. "The projects we offered him were closely related to his own projects outside of football.''
Follow Tales Azzoni at http://twitter.com/tazzoni