(Reuters) - Struggling Deportivo La Coruna on Monday named former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Clarence Seedorf as coach until the end of the season and the Dutchman believes he can keep them in the top flight.
The struggling Galician side, 18th in the Liga table and three points from the safety zone, sacked Cristobal Parralo on Sunday and Dutchman Seedorf is their third coach this season.
“I like to take the hot potato, to go where everything is going well is too easy,” said Seedorf, who previously coached Milan in 2014 and Chinese side Shenzhen in 2016.
”Life has difficult moments but the unity I have already felt here will help us move forward.
”Depor is a club with a lot of history, I don’t think they deserve to be where they are. The people I have spoken with at the club are convinced there is quality here.
“I‘m convinced this group has the will to work and we will lift up these boys,” he told a news conference.
Ex-Netherlands international Seedorf, who played nearly 900 games and won five Champions League titles with Ajax Amsterdam, Madrid and Milan, has only taken charge of 36 games as a coach.
Depor turned to him after first-choice Martin Lasarte reportedly rejected their offer.
“I‘m grateful for this opportunity. You have to believe in the new generation, (Real Madrid coach Zinedine) Zidane is an example,” added Seedorf.
”I’ve had the luck of working with a lot of great coaches, understanding their thinking has always interested me.
“Many times my role was to be the leader of a group. I’ve worked with (Fabio) Capello, (Marcello) Lippi, (Louis) Van Gaal, (Frank) Rijkaard. A top level school.”
Depor sacked Pepe Mel in October, with Parralo fired after a 5-0 defeat by Real Sociedad on Friday left the team without a win in their last seven games.
Parralo was the sixth coach to be dismissed by president Tino Fernandez since he took over in 2014.
Reporting by Rik Sharma; Editing by Ken Ferris