Former AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf has announced his retirement from his playing career to take up the vacant coaching job at San Siro.
Seedorf was heavily linked with the Rossoneri post earlier in the season as Milan struggled to find form under Massimiliano Allegri.
Allegri was relieved of his duties following Milan's shock 4-3 defeat to Sassuolo on Sunday, prompting further speculation that the Dutchman was primed to take the reins of the Serie A giants, and the Netherlands veteran confirmed on Tuesday that a deal is indeed in place for him to take on the role.
"I am here to announce that I will retire from playing after 22 years," the 37-year-old, who has been playing for Botafogo since 2012, told reporters in Brazil. "It has been a difficult decision, but I am satisfied with what I have achieved in my career. Here at Botafogo I am happy because I leave a team who have qualified for the [Copa] Libertadores. I leave an improved club, especially in terms of their mentality and team spirit."
He also wished his current home a fond farewell while looking ahead to his next challenge.
"Milan? We will meet again. This experience of the last year and a half has made me grow up a lot and will help me in my next step, as coach of Milan, who have hired me in both an elegant and correct manner," Seedorf said. "I hope that Brazil can have a memorable World Cup and the national team can honor its colors. Thank you."
Seedorf made more than 400 appearances in a stellar 10-year spell with Milan, during which he claimed two Serie A and two Champions League titles.