3 decades, 3 owngoals per game, jersey #3: The Legend

Discussion in 'AC Milan' started by Diavolo, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Diavolo

    Diavolo New Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Paolo MALDINI
    3 | Milan AC Defender
    Altezza: 1.86m. Peso: 83.00kg. Nazionalità: Italia
    Data di nascita: 26/06/1968 a Milan
    First appearence: Udinese - Milan : 1-1 le 20/01/1985

    It was on very cold afternoon rougly 20 years ago that the son of Cesare,the man that lifted IT for the very first time in Wembley back in 1963 a young defender called Paolo, was called upon by legendary Nils "IL Barone" Liedholm to enter the pitch cause Battistini was injured. Critics believe that young Paolo was favoured upon a number of young players due to his "heavy" surname. Game after game, season after season, playing on the left even though he's a natural right, he becomes a rising star At first he becomes the "new" Cabrini, later he becomes the "new" Facchetti, eventually "only" to become "himself": Paolo Maldini know as "Cuore di Drago" (Dragon Heart), probably the best defender in the history of the game, certainly the only one that has been able to play indiferently as a fullback or as central defender in such a sublime fashion. In his 20 years of football threw 3 decades, he has played close to 900 games for 2 teams only: Italy NT and Milan, always setting an example for team mates and admired if not reveared by rivals. Always the first to turn up for training sessions, most often than not the last to leave. On the pitch, without wasting web space on his "regal" way of interpreting his role, I like to remember that he has never commited a "nasty" foul, even though he has faced players like Zico, Maradona, Rivaldo, Batistuta, Ronaldo, Zidane, Romario, Stoichkov, Hugo Sanchez, Klinsmann, Careca, Baggio, Totti, Vialli, Mancini, Del Piero just to name a few, always with flair, often having the better. His jersey among rival players, is often asked in advance, cause one day, once retired, that very player will tell his nephews: "I played against Maldini"

    Paolo Maldini as every player, one day will retire from professional Football till then, he should be treated as one of the alltime greats of this fantastic sport on par with other great players of the past. Till that day, as a Milan supporter, I could even bear 3 owngoals per game cause the end result would still be positive, very positive as positive as as any player could even dream in his wildest dream.

    Paolo will still surprise us all. Guranteed

    Grazie Paolo

    Proud Paolo

    Amy Lawrence
    Sunday May 25, 2003
    The Observer

    Even if Paolo Maldini had only been an average footballer, say, a journeyman in Serie B , he would still have come across as one of those people the gods smiled upon. He is so strikingly handsome that Giorgio Armani picked him out of all Italy's footballers to be his perfect clotheshorse. He is a devoted family man whose wife - an extraordinarily beautiful model, of course - gave him two extraordinarily beautiful sons. He is fabulously wealthy, yet gives the impression of being completely unaffected by fame and fortune, and seldom graces the gossip columns. And on top of all these blessings, Paolo Maldini happens to be one of the most decorated footballers in the history of the game. He is the man every Italian male dreams of being, and every Italian female dreams of being with.
    On Wednesday, Italian football's 'recordman' (he tops appearance lists for club and country as well as possessing a mantelpiece overflowing with medals) will lead out his beloved Milan against Juventus at Old Trafford for the Champions League final against Juventus.

    It will be the sixth time he has played in European club football's showpiece occasion. The previous five took place between 1989 and 1995, when Milan were the dominant force, with the most glamorous faces in football. The Dutch trio of Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard provided spectacular embellishment to a prized Italian defence known as 'Franco Baresi and the Untouchables'. Alongside the legendary sweeper, the blockade consisted of two emerging young stars, Maldini and his great friend Billy Costacurta, and the no-nonsense right-back Mauro Tassotti. Today, Baresi coaches Milan's youngsters and Tassotti is assistant manager. Heaven knows what private thoughts the old survivors Maldini and Costacurta will share as they aim for another European Cup, all these years on.

    Costacurta, in particular, must wonder quite how this has happened considering he was released by Milan last summer. He was doing the tourist routine in New York with his actress and former Miss Italia girlfriend last September when the club called to say they needed him back. Rumour has it that in the early part of the season, captain Maldini looked around the dressing room and felt they were missing some of the old guard's spirit and resolve. Next thing Costacurta's phone was buzzing.

    The contrast between these two long-term pillars of the Milan and Italy defence is an intriguing one. Costacurta, when the time comes to reflect upon his own eventful career, has been by Maldini's side for most of it and has a similarly bulging collection of prizes. And yet Costacurta, neither as charismatic nor as brilliant, is forever in his shadow. It doesn't seem to have grated too much. As he admits: 'I always have to work really hard, whereas Paolo just has so much natural talent.'

    It was always so. Maldini made his debut for Milan at 16, a graduate from the youth team overseen by his father, Cesare. Did he benefit from nepotism?

    'No, quite the opposite. He was much harder on me than the others,' Maldini recalls. That famously cool temperament was necessary when he had to live up to the enormous expectations that came with being Cesare Maldini's boy. Papa was the strong, elegant sweeper with a big personality who captained Milan to their first European Cup triumph in 1963. Papa also went on to manage the Italy side Paolo played in. If it felt odd he didn't show it. He ended up with 126 caps (112 more than Papa).

    Says Cesare: 'I have never given him any advice. He doesn't need it; he always seems to know what to do. He still surprises me every day with his quest to always improve and to look inside as well. What makes me proud about Paolo? The way he behaves on and off the pitch and the fact that he has always played with Milan.'

    One-club Paolo even took a 30 per cent pay cut this year - 'for the love of Milan' - to sign an extension until 2005. That will take him to the twentieth anniversary of his debut. 'It's a very good thing for football when a player comes through the ranks and stays with a club,' he says. 'The fans can identify with that sort of player.'

    Remarkably, when he began in 1985 against Udinese, Milan were close to bankruptcy and it took the intervention of a media magnate and supporter by the name of Silvio Berlusconi to rescue the club with a £20 million investment.

    How long can Maldini continue? By and large he has had an excellent season, the effects of his international retirement evident in his club form. Inevitably, at 34 there are momentary lapses, particularly against the fleet of foot. In the Champions League semi-final, he was exposed by Inter's speedy Obafemi Martins, in a way that recalled Ahn Jung Hwan's killer blow for South Korea that made Maldini suddenly look old - sadly - as he departed the World Cup stage.

    Fortunately for Milan, Martins' intervention was only a minor inconvenience. Maldini celebrated reaching the final by embracing all of his team-mates, shaking a knowing fist at the Tribune of Honour where Berlusconi sits, and sprinting off the pitch full of beans. It was a striking contrast to two years before, when he strode off solemnly as Italian clubs completed their collective collapse in European football. How proud he is that they - and he - are back.

    Coming into May, he had played more minutes of football for Milan than any other player. He has been invigorated by two things: dedicating his efforts to his club, and the arrival of the exceptional, graceful stopper Alessandro Nesta alongside him. There was a poignant moment during the semi-final against Inter that personified the passing of the defensive baton through the generations. Just above Maldini's head a fan waved a giant flag that said, simply, 'Baresi'. At that point, Maldini passed the ball to Nesta, who looked every inch the Milan cornerstone for the years to come. Having struggled to settle in the early days since his transfer from Lazio, Nesta now looks the part. 'To play next to Maldini is very easy,' he says. 'He is 34 years old now, but plays at the very highest level game after game.'

    He does it naturally. So it was the best left-back in the world turned into one of the most accomplished central defenders - effortlessly. Maldini's impact on the next generation is huge. The ex-Rangers midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, in terrific form as the team's energetic ball-winner, is grateful for what he has learnt: 'When I am tired or when I don't fancy training I think about Maldini and Costacurta and that is all I need to rediscover my desire to play football. Paolo has been extremely important for me and my career. He is an example and I have watched him. He doesn't talk that much, it might just be four words in an entire season, but those four words shake you up.'

    And so the legend continues. Cesare will be watching in Manchester to see if his son can emulate his feat of 40 years ago, a European triumph that occurred, so the Milan soothsayers like to remind you, on English soil. 'He hasn't finished yet,' says Cesare of Paolo. 'He will continue to surprise you.'

    La carriera
    Squadra Campionato Competizio ni europee Pres.
    84-85 Milan AC 1 Partite (-)
    85-86 Milan AC 27 Partite 6 Partite (C3)
    86-87 Milan AC 1 Gol, 29 Partite (-)
    87-88 Milan AC 2 Gol, 26 Partite 2 Partite (C3) 4 Partite
    88-89 Milan AC 26 Partite 7 Partite (C1) 10 Partite
    89-90 Milan AC 1 Gol, 30 Partite 8 Partite (C1) 12 Partite
    90-91 Milan AC 4 Gol, 26 Partite 4 Partite (C1) 6 Partite
    91-92 Milan AC 3 Gol, 31 Partite (-) 8 Partite
    92-93 Milan AC 2 Gol, 31 Partite 2 Gol, 7 Partite
    93-94 Milan AC 1 Gol, 30 Partite 11 Partite
    94-95 Milan AC 2 Gol, 29 Partite 11 Partite (C1) 6 Partite
    95-96 Milan AC 3 Gol, 30 Partite 8 Partite (C3) 1 Gol, 7 Partite
    96-97 Milan AC 1 Gol, 26 Partite 6 Partite (C1) 2 Gol, 10 Partite
    97-98 Milan AC 30 Partite (-) 1 Gol, 12 Partite
    98-99 Milan AC 1 Gol, 31 Partite (-) 1 Gol, 9 Partite
    99-00 Milan AC 1 Gol, 27 Partite 6 Partite (C1) 9 Partite
    00-01 Milan AC 1 Gol, 31 Partite 14 Partite (C1) 6 Partite
    01-02 Milan AC 14 Partite 4 Partite (C3) 6 Partite
    02-03 Milan AC 2 Gol, 29 Partite 19 Partite (C1)
    03-04 Milan AC 30 Partite 9 Partite (C1)
    04-05 Milan AC 6 Partite 3 Partite (C1)


    1989 Vincitore della Coppa Intercontinentale (Milan AC)
    1990 Vincitore della Coppa Intercontinentale (Milan AC)
    1989 Vainqueur di la Super Coppa Europa (Milan AC)
    1990 Vainqueur di la Super Coppa Europa (Milan AC)
    1994 Vainqueur di la Super Coppa Europa (Milan AC)
    2003 Vainqueur di la Super Coppa Europa (Milan AC)
    1989 Vincitore della Champions League (Milan AC)
    1990 Vincitore della Champions League (Milan AC)
    1994 Vincitore della Champions League (Milan AC)
    2003 Vincitore della Champions League (Milan AC)
    1992 Vainqueur di la Super Coupe d'Italia (Milan AC)
    1993 Vainqueur di la Super Coupe d'Italia (Milan AC)
    1994 Vainqueur di la Super Coupe d'Italia (Milan AC)
    1988 Campione d'Italia (Milan AC)
    1992 Campione d'Italia (Milan AC)
    1993 Campione d'Italia (Milan AC)
    1994 Campione d'Italia (Milan AC)
    1996 Campione d'Italia (Milan AC)
    1999 Campione d'Italia (Milan AC)
    2004 Campione d'Italia (Milan AC)
    2003 Vincitore della Coppa Italia (Milan AC)
    1994 Finalista della Coppa del Mondo (Italia)
    2000 Finalista dei Campionati Europei (Italia)
    1993 Finalista della Coppa Intercontinentale (Milan AC)
    1994 Finalista della Coppa Intercontinentale (Milan AC)
    1993 Finalista della Champions League (Milan AC)
    1995 Finalista della Champions League (Milan AC)
    1998 Finalista della Coppa Italia (Milan AC)

    .......to be continued
  2. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    An excellent post and reminder (if any was ever needed) that we are blessed to have watched a player as gifted, deicated and loyal as San Paolo Maldini.

    I for one cannot remember a Milan before Baresi or Maldini and it will be a sad day for Milan and for football when neither of them is left. As the article points out though, at least we have Nesta now.
  3. Diavolo

    Diavolo New Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Next coming 25th of January will be 20 years of Maldini with a Milan jersey.
  4. echineko

    echineko New Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    that first post was brilliant. i think most people who follow european football in recent times, no matter which club you favor, would agree he's one of the modern greats. even in an often unappreciated position like defence, maldini is something else. he's not what he was today, but still, when he finally calls it a day, that will be a sad one for football.
  5. Diavolo

    Diavolo New Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    His 20 years of Milan will be due the 20th not the 25th of January, as erroneously posted by me previously.

    Grande San Paolo (proud)
  6. Diavolo

    Diavolo New Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    I have just watched on TV, footage of young Paolo making his debut game vs Udinese. He was fielded on the right on that opening game of is incredible career. This coming Sunday, 20 years later, making his 537th apperance in Serie A :eek: having weared Red&Black also 72 times in Coppa Italia not forgetting to mention his 142 International Competition matches, essential to the Devilshood :devil: cause in bringing home 23 Trophys, he will achieve this amazing record against the very first team he meet.

    Paolo MALDINI


    Date of Birth 26/6/1968
    Place of Birth Milan
    Nation Italy
    Position Defender
    Height 186
    Weight 85

    SERIE A 20.1.1985: UDINESE - MILAN 1-1
    COPPA ITALIA 21.8.1985: GENOA - MILAN 2-2 72 1
    1984/85 Milan Serie A 1 -
    1985/86 Milan Serie A 27 -
    1986/87 Milan Serie A 30 1
    1987/88 Milan Serie A 26 2
    1988/89 Milan Serie A 26 -
    1989/90 Milan Serie A 30 1
    1990/91 Milan Serie A 26 4
    1991/92 Milan Serie A 31 3
    1992/93 Milan Serie A 31 2
    1993/94 Milan Serie A 30 1
    1994/95 Milan Serie A 29 2
    1995/96 Milan Serie A 30 3
    1996/97 Milan Serie A 26 1
    1997/98 Milan Serie A 30 -
    1998/99 Milan Serie A 31 1
    1999/00 Milan Serie A 27 1
    2000/01 Milan Serie A 31 1
    2001/02 Milan Serie A 15 -
    2002/03 Milan Serie A 29 2
    2003/04 Milan Serie A 30 -
    1987/88 Milan Scudetto
    1988 Milan Supercoppa di Lega
    1988/89 Milan Coppa dei Campioni
    1989 Milan Coppa Intercontinentale
    1989 Milan Supercoppa Europea
    1989/90 Milan Coppa dei Campioni
    1990 Milan Coppa Intercontinentale
    1990 Milan Supercoppa Europea
    1991/92 Milan Scudetto
    1992 Milan Supercoppa di Lega
    1992/93 Milan Scudetto
    1993 Milan Supercoppa di Lega
    1993/94 Milan Scudetto
    1993/94 Milan Coppa dei Campioni
    1994 Milan Supercoppa di Lega
    1994 Milan Supercoppa Europea
    1995/96 Milan Scudetto
    1998/99 Milan Scudetto
    2002/03 Milan Champions League
    2002/03 Milan Coppa Italia Tim
    2003 Milan Supercoppa Europea
    2003/04 Milan Scudetto
    2004 Milan Supercoppa di Lega Tim

  7. fatdanny99

    fatdanny99 New Member

    Nov 5, 2004
    I wonder how he will play at left back since Stam is back.
  8. Diavolo

    Diavolo New Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Yesterday vs Udinese he was elected Man of the Match.

    Bit's&pieces from Maldini's interview yeterday on tv:

    "The longest and most stressfull week in my 20 years of Football, was the EuroDerby week.Thankfully it ended well" "No match can be compared to the Derby"

    "Where do I find the "fuel" to keep playing?" "I just need to look at when we lifted #6 in Manchester and wonder from time to time that it could be even possible to repeat a similar experience ;) "

    "Due to my creaking knees, Carletto (Ancelotti) allows me to train a day less than everbody else"

    "I've stopped giving credit to some fans, ever since a few years ago IMO they were a bit harsh on Billy, Albertini, Seba Rossi and myself :stuckup: after all we achieved, a single average season had the affect on these people of cancelling all we've won"

    "The reason I became a LB, was that back in the old days, since Mauro Tassotti was on the right, and Franco Baresi and Filippo Galli were in the middle, the only available position was on the left. Naturally I accepted"

    "At my age playing as LB, as it apperas I will doing so since Stam thankfully is back again, is very demanding. I understand, and will adapt"

    "I still have another years contract, Adriano Galliani has already asked me to extend it, I prefer waiting, that way I will be able to judge if I can be still usefull to the team in the future"

    P.S. A fair amount of members here were either very young or not even born when Maldini played his first game in Red&Black back then in 1985.

    Forza Paolo
  9. Diavolo

    Diavolo New Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    DONADONI: 'One adjective is not enough for Maldini'
    MILAN - Il Corriere dello Sport-Stadio reported an interview with Roberto Donadoni: 'I don’t have one adjective for Paolo Maldini, one is not enough :star:

    Il calcio puro di Maldini - Vent'anni di gloria e umiltà
    18/01/2005 12.45.00

    "Maldini è un capitano e un calciatore esemplare. Come avversario più grande ricorda Maradona: 'Il più grande e il più leale. Un modello di comportamento in campo: rispettava tutti, dal campione al giocatore più normale, prendeva un sacco di botte e non si lamentava. Gli attaccanti di oggi...mamma mia'. Oggi Maradona è un povero obeso schiavo della droga, mi fa piacere che Maldini l'abbia ricordato per com'era in campo, per il rispetto che portava ai colleghi. E' lo stesso rispetto che caratterizza i vent'anni di Maldini. E' rispetto per la maglia (rossonera o azzurra, finchè azzurra è stata), per il mestiere (dunque anche per gli avversari), per un codice di comportamento. Maldini non ha mai tirato indietro la gamba, ma non è un picchiatore. Ha sempre espresso le sue idee, ma ad un livello di assoluta civiltà, mai una polemica gratuita o sguaiata. Ha vinto moltissimo e ha ancora voglia di vincere. Ha corso moltissimo e ha ancora voglia di correre. C'è chi confonde l'agonismo con l'aggressione fisica, la ribellione ai falli con gli sputazzi, la maturità con i proclami. Non so quanti avrebbero accettato di tornare sulla fascia per fare posto a Stam. Maldini è del Milan, buon per il Milan che ha altri esempi di longevità (Costacurta) e dagli ex calciatori continua a sviluppare allenatori (Ancelotti, Tassotti, Donadoni, Gullit, Rijkaard e perfino Van Basten che non voleva saperne) e una ragione ci sarà, ci dev'essere. E ci sarà modo di tornarci sopra. Ma oggi è giusto brindare al traguardo (intermedio) raggiunto da Maldini, che continua a pedalare verso il record di Zoff e oltre. Alla sua salute, con l'ammirazione e la gratitudine che si devono ai campioni del calcio bello, forte e pulito".

    The pure Football of Maldini - 20 years of glory and humbleness :star:
    by Gianni Mura

    Maldini is ann example both as a Captain and as a player. In his words, his toughest opponenent was Maradona :star: "The geatest, the fairest. On the pitch, a model in behavior. He would respect everybody. Always beaten with harsh taclkles, but would never complain" :star:
    Todays forwads, mamma mia..............Today Maradona is a obese junkie, I'm very pleased that Maldini remembered him in his "pitch" days recalling the respect Diego always had upon collegues.
    The same respect that characterises Maldini's 20 years. The respect he shares for the jersey (Milan's and Italy's NT till it lasted), for his job (so even for his rivals), for the behavior code which he always followed.
    Maldini has never pulled his leg back, but he's never been a hit man. He has always expressed his opinions, always in very civilized fashion, never threw harsh and outrageous polemics. He has won a great deal but still feels like achieving more. He has run a hell of lot, but still feels like continuing to run.
    Some players confuse agonism with pysical aggresion, rebellion with fouls or spits, maturity with proclaims. I personally don't know how many players would have accepted moving back to the left side in order to give space to Stam. He did. :star: Good for Milan. :star:
    Maldini is Milan, good for Milan that also have other exmples of longevity (Costacurta), and that the Milan school continues developing trainers ((Ancelotti, Tassotti, Donadoni, Gullit, Rijkaard and even Van Basten that always said he would never become one). Their most be a reason. One day I will take the time to come back to this issue :star:
    Today though, it's right to focus on the goal (intermediate ;) ) reached by Maldini :star: that continues running towards Dino Zoff's record and beyond. Cheers :shades: with the admiration and gratitude owed to a neat, strong and beautiful Champ :star: :proud: :star:

  10. ForzaMilan1899

    ForzaMilan1899 Red Card

    Jan 18, 2005
    Maldini is a italian legend followed bye paolo rossi, bagio

    During a milan match fans and players can rely on him, he doesn't make many mistakes and is a very good defender who is always watching his markers.


  11. Diavolo

    Diavolo New Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Billy Costacurta has extended his contract for another season.

    Billy: "My only regret, is that now Paolo will have to play till he's 40 to beat me" ;)

    "I have been here since the 23rd of March 1980, the day I will leave will be indeed a very sad day for me since Milanello is my second home :cool: I will do so with my son Achille, and I will have to try my best to hold back my tears"

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