Clarence Seedorf: AC Milan are at the same level as Barcelona

The Dutch midfielder was buoyed by his club's display against the Catalan giants and claims that the Rossoneri can triumph in Europe this season
Clarence Seedorf believes that AC Milan showed in last week’s Champions League clash with Barcelona that they are just as good as the reigning Spanish and European champions.

The Rossoneri were beaten 3-2 on the night and managed just 41 per cent possession at San Siro. However, Seedorf feels that the Italian title-holders proved that they can compete with the Blaugrana by playing their part in what was an enthralling encounter.

"We had a great game, showing our value," the Dutch midfielder said. “And the awareness of our resources is vital for the future.

"We played at the same [level], [and] we stayed at their level.

"The ball possession is not deceiving: [but] that's the way they play; we play just in another way."

And Seedorf is in no doubt that Milan can end Barca’s reign as European champions by sticking to their own take on the beautiful game.

"In May, I would like to celebrate the conquest of the Champions League," he said. "In the championship we have to reconfirm [our superiority]; the real challenge is in Europe.

"The difference will be in the small details: for example, the third goal from Barca [from Xavi] could have been avoided."

On a personal level, Seedorf acknowledges that at 35 he can no longer play every game for Milan – but that does not mean that he does not want to.

“Of course, with plenty of important matches to play, a coach tries to rotate players in order to save some energy," the four-time Champions League winner said.

"I understand that, but people should know that I always want to be on the field. It's my mentality. I enjoy playing too much!”

Seedorf has played just six games in Serie A this season but has featured in four of Milan's five outings in Europe and remains a key member of Massimiliano Allegri's side.

Starting last week and continuing every Friday through to January, will publish extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated book, Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World. Friday's second extract was about how Joan Laporta and Sandro Rosell used David Beckham as a vote-winner in the club elections of 2003, even though a deal was already done between Manchester United and Real Madrid.