Seedorf: young players need to be protected
Botafogo's Clarence Seedorf says that young players in Brazilian need to be protected from the media following his decision to cut short an interview with Vitinho.
Seedorf believes that there is too much media intrusion into the young player's lives, but has laughed off suggestions that he has become a father figure to his teammate.
"He’s funny, I just have to laugh about it. But I’m old enough to be the dad of several of the lads in the squad," Seedorf told FIFA.com.
"It’s strange, because to me it still feels like yesterday that I was in their position, a young lad of 16, starting out.
"It’s really cool, we all get on really well here. Vitinho is in the process of establishing himself as a player and his talent isn’t in question.
"However, there’s a culture here of giving interviews all the time, even during the half-time break, and he needs to be protected – particularly mentally – so he can continue to improve as a player. His concentration, his focus needs to be maintained.
"For any player it can be hard in certain games to go in at half-time and then come back out and play just as well, with the same level of attention and focus.
"Imagine then, on top of that, you’re asked to start talking about something else entirely. There’s a time and a place for this, and that [when Seedorf cut short an interview Vitinho was giving at half-time during a game] wasn’t it.
"We need to be able to handle that kind of situation better. Why? Because even though we were leading, it was a tough game and it was by no means over.
"It was important to stay focused right to the end. My intervention came from someone who knows just how hard it is for a player – any player, experienced or not – to stay focused during the interval.
"As soon as you start giving interviews, you’re detaching yourself from the group mentality, which is what really matters."