| Andriy Shevchenko and Dida celebrate at Old Trafford Wednesday. Shevchenko netted the winning goal for AC Milan in the penalty shootout while the Brazilian ’keeper brought off three saves. (AP)
Manchester: Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf broke down in tears after becoming the first player to win the European Cup with three different clubs.
Seedorf helped AC Milan to a 3-2 penalty shootout win over Italian rivals Juventus in the Champions League final at Old Trafford, adding to his successes with Ajax Amsterdam in 1995 and Real Madrid in 1998.
“It’s incredible, incredible,” Seedorf said. “I don’t have any words. I am so, so happy.”
Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko, back to his best after a bad knee injury earlier this season, scored the winning penalty for Milan.
“I just tried to stay as calm as possible. In these situations it’s a bit like a duel between the goalkeeper and whoever’s taking the penalty. For me, this is the biggest trophy I can win. ”
Asked what he felt, Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti said: “Satisfaction, joy – I’m feeling all these things equally.”
Ancelotti was sacked by Juventus in 2001 but said he did not want to talk about any feelings of vindication. “Tomorrow there’ll be plenty of time to talk about things like that,” he said. “For now I just want to celebrate with my players. You have to learn to live through criticism.
“I’m just so glad we’ve won. I feel at home in Milan and it’s a dream come true to come back and win the European Cup.”
Juventus coach Marcello Lippi lamented the absence of Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved, who was suspended for the final. “It was always going to be difficult without Nedved,” he said.
It was a third defeat in four finals with Juventus for Lippi and it left the level-headed coach blaming this latest disappointment on fate. “What can I say' It went terribly badly,” said Lippi. “Everything went wrong for us, from the injuries and suspension onwards. I’m just so disappointed. Everyone was so tired and we didn’t have the fuel in the tank to take the opportunities. It was an ill-starred night for us.”
Milan captain Paolo Maldini celebrated his fourth European Cup triumph with the club 40 years after his father Cesare helped them to their first success in the competition in 1963.
“To lift the cup as captain is a huge joy for me,” he said. “To be here again so many years after the first one (in 1989), and to follow in my father’s footsteps is something really special.”
Ugly final: Ronaldo
World and European player of the Year Ronaldo says he was unimpressed by the performance of the teams. “It was obviously no great spectacle,” the Brazilian striker said Thursday.
“The Italians are going to think that the Spanish are being critical of their style of play, but we all saw that it was a very ugly and boring final for the spectators,” the former Inter Milan player said. “The result says that Milan are now the best team in Europe, but we (Real) have shown that we play the prettiest football in Europe.” (Reuters)