Exclusive - ​Clarence Seedorf believes it was his Milan side who were the better team in the 2005 Champions League final against Liverpool, despite their defeat on penalties in Istanbul.


Liverpool famously made a remarkable comeback that night, coming from 3-0 down at half time to lift the trophy following Jerzy Dudek's spot-kick heroics. It was the fifth time the current European champions lifted the trophy, though Milan edged matters in a repeat fixture two years later - with Seedorf featuring in both matches.

Clarence Seedorf,Andrea Pirlo

The legendary Dutchman is the only player to win Europe's most prestigious club prize with three different clubs, tasting victory on two occasions with the Rossoneri, while he was also victorious with Ajax and Real Madrid in the 1990s.


But speaking exclusively to 90min's ​Ben Haines on Wednesday - Seedorf's birthday, incidentally - he took his time to reflect on the two past encounters with the Merseysiders.


"It's about the day. Who has that moment and who also has a little bit of luck. I think that in 2005 we played better than in 2007, but we lost," he remembered. 


"I think that in 2007 maybe Liverpool even played a little bit better than we did, but we were solid and we seized our moments to bring it home. Playing finals is always very delicate. It's about reducing the errors and maximising your opportunities."

AC Milan's Brazilian midfielder Kaka (L)...

Seedorf also suggested that appearing in two finals in such quick succession helped ​Milan learn from their prior mistakes in 2007.


"When you’ve been there more than once you know better what to do. I think that in our second match we were a little bit more solid, thinking more about finding those moments to make a difference," he admitted.

"In our first match against Liverpool in 2005, we were on full attack, creating and going forward. At the end of the day we still lost, even though we created so many chances and scored so many goals.


"Probably in the back of our minds we thought: 'we are not going to have the same approach.’ [In 2007] We were a little bit more conservative in that sense, but we knew we could score the goals and those moments would come. We just made sure we didn't give away too much."

Clarence Seedorf,Andrea Pirlo

On their way to victory in 2007, Milan defeated ​Manchester United in the semi finals. Trailing 3-2 from a pulsating first leg, Carlo Ancelotti's side bested the Red Devils 3-0 at San Siro to secure a safe passage to the final. You'll be able to watch that classic encounter on Wednesday evening on ​UEFA.tv, as UEFA stream free content from their archives while football is postponed. 


Seedorf revealed that results like the one against United - in which he scored a fantastic goal - helped to cultivate a winning mentality in the Milan squad which proved vital in the final. 


"When you really think you’re the best as a team and you’re unbeatable," he said. "That is a kind of feeling you create when you rush through the matches and you get to the quarter finals and you beat some big teams like we did with Bayern then you just feel that you’re going to do it.

"The conviction is very strong, the self esteem is very high, the trust among teammates is there and the energy of the club is flying, especially when you play for those clubs who have a history in the Champions League it makes it almost natural to think that you’re going to bring it home." 


UEFA will continue to keep fans entertained during the current postponement period with a full programme of free archive content across its digital channels, including re-runs of classic matches on UEFA.tv


You're able to watch Milan's classic encounter with Manchester United from 2007 on Wednesday evening here.