As the saying goes, class is permanent. Clarence Seedorf, 38 years young, turned back the clock on Sunday night as he notched a hat-trick to help give the Rest of the World a 4-2 win over England in Soccer Aid 2014 at Old Trafford.
The stars were out in full force in Manchester, England, for the biannual charity match, and nobody shone brighter than the A.C. Milan manager.
Seedorf opened the scoring in the 47th minute with a well-struck right-footed finish into the roof of the net, per Bleacher Report UK:
Clarence Seedorf contemplating a comeback? That's two golazos this week: https://t.co/lREMRrMMFA— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) June 8, 2014
With the match level at 2-2, the four-time Champions League winner added his second with a great individual effort. The marking, though, was admittedly extremely poor and uncharacteristic of a Sam Allardyce side. He really could've used Kevin Nolan in midfield:
Into injury time, Seedorf found his third goal with a powerful header from close range:
Come on back, Clarence Seedorf. He gets his hat trick as Rest of the World win Soccer Aid 4-2: https://t.co/tKKp3iTq3i— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) June 8, 2014
The former Milan, Real Madrid and Ajax midfielder has always been known to be in great physical condition, and it looked like he might have retired prematurely on Sunday night.
ESPN's Kevin Palmer joked that Seedorf would be an upgrade for Manchester United at the moment:
Seedorf turned in one of best midfield displays at Old Trafford this season @socceraid. Put Cleverley, Carrick in the shade! Good fun night— Kevin Palmer (@kpsundayworld) June 8, 2014
Jamie Redknapp and Kevin Phillips were the goalscorers for England. Redknapp halved the deficit in the 75th minute after Nicky Byrne made it 2-0 to the Rest of the World six minutes earlier. Phillips tied the match briefly with his penalty in the 82nd minute.
Then Seedorf decided enough was enough and proved that footballers still remain pretty good even after they step back from the game.
It's not hard to see how the Rest of the World had the edge, considering they were stacked with legends Edgar Davids, Edwin van der Sar, Jaap Stam, Alessandro Del Piero and Andriy Shevchenko. They also had Professor X (James McAvoy), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and an Avatar (Sam Worthington).
Jose Mourinho, who managed the Rest of the World, sure knows how to put a team together.
Actor Michael Sheen offered a brief look inside the winning dressing room:
YYYYEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! pic.twitter.com/FSXxswB1Ig— michael sheen (@michaelsheen) June 8, 2014
Perhaps the bigger story is that Mourinho ended his interminable title drought. Two years must have felt like a lifetime for the "Special One." This one will surely go into the trophy cabinet alongside his two Champions League medals:
MOURINHO ENDS TWO-YEAR TROPHY DROUGHT...— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) June 8, 2014
Mourinho, ever the pragmatist, added a new move to his repertoire when he came off the touchline to tackle pop star Olly Murs and knock him off the ball, per Soccer Aid 2014:
The rest of the Premier League is now on notice. The Chelsea manager isn't afraid to get physical if it's gonna help his team win. Opposing teams should remain a good five yards clear of the touchline from here on out.
Mourinho is a detailed-oriented manager, and that extended to his pre-match preparations.
"He told us he watched videos of previous years, that was the first thing he told us," Byrne said, per the BBC. "And that he knew what he could and couldn't do with the players. And he's gone straight in, proper like he's preparing for the Champions League final."
Mourinho's hard work clearly showed as Allardyce's side came undone late in the match.
Of course, the real goal of the match is to raise as much money as possible for UNICEF. This year saw a total of £4,233,019 donated:
Fun was had by all at the "Theatre of Dreams" on Saturday night, and considering how much money was raised, Soccer Aid 2014 was a rousing success.