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World Cup Football

Paolo Maldini

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Paolo Maldine (born June 26, 1968, Milan) is an Italian football player. He is the son of Cesare Maldini. Paolo Maldini plays as a defender and, despite being naturally right-footed, predominantly plays the position of left back, although he sometimes plays at centre back. Throughout his long career, he has remained a one club man with A.C. Milan, and is currently the club's most capped player at 582 caps (still going) after having outlasted Franco Baresi's record of 512 caps.

One of the greatest defenders of all time, in fact at the peak of his career Maldini was considered by many as the undisputed greatest defender. Well known for his influential captaincy, ice-cool temperament and flawless defending. His clean tackling and ability to read the game makes him one of the best defenders in modern football. He is still playing at the very highest level, which is confirmed by inclusion to the FIFPro World XI in 2005, nomination to the UEFA Champions League 2004-2005 most valuable defender title, second place in Golden Foot nominations in 2005, and a top-ten finish in the voting for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year.

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Comment "I have had chance to play to that greatest level but you have been the inspiration in my life as a school captain, a leader in the varsity politics, a leader at work, you are the BEST, GOD BLESS YOU! -  Femi"

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Maldini's Serie A debut came on January 20, 1985 against Udinese. Since then. he has had a glittering career to date, winning many trophies with Milan (as of 2005, those include seven Serie A titles and four European Cups). Maldini was also part of AC Milan's undefeated Dream Team in the late 80's to early 90's.

Maldini is Italy's most capped player. However, he never managed to win a trophy at the international level despite playing in the 1994 World Cup final and the 2000 European Championship Final. He retired from the national team after 2002 World Cup finishing his successful career with 126 caps and 7 goals. Maldini also played in the 1990 and 1998 World Cups, Euro 88, and Euro 96.

Maldini also set two new records in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final by scoring after only 51 seconds against Liverpool F.C. in Istanbul and also by being the oldest to score in a Champions League Final. Paolo's father, Cesare, also captained A.C. Milan in the 1960s, lifting the European Cup in 1963. There was a public appeal in Italy for Maldini to come out of retirement for the 2004 European Championship due to the national team's defence problems, one in particular was Fabio Cannavaro's poor performance. Maldini rejected the appeal for "personal reasons".

Maldini recently broke Dino Zoff's Serie A appearance record, making his 571st appearance against Treviso F.B.C.. He also recently played his 800th game in all competitions for Milan. In November 2005, he announced plans to retire from playing professional football at the end of the 2006/07 season, however he might re-consider it should he still be able to maintain his superb defensive skills. His contract with Milan ends in 2008.

Maldini has two sons, Christian and Daniel, with his Venezuelan wife Adriana Fossa. Christian has signed for Milan's youth team at the age of 9 and is set to continue the Maldini dynasty at the club.


  • Italian Championship : 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004.
  • European Champions' Cup: 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003.
  • European Supercup: 1989, 1990, 1995.
  • World Club Cup: 1989, 1990.
  • FIFA World Cup ITALIA 90: Third place.
  • FIFA World Cup USA 94: Runner-up.
  • WORLD SOCCER's World Player of the Year: 1994.
  • FIFA 100 (125 greatest living players, as selected by Pelé): 2004

Maldini was the first defender to win the World Soccer's World Player of the Year Award, which puts him in the same class of Michel Platini, Paolo Rossi, and Zico. On receiving his award, Maldini said: "It's a great honour for me to know that so many people consider me so highly. It's a particular matter of pride because defenders generally receive so much less attention from fans and the media than goal scorers. We are more in the engine room rather than taking the glory.

"I must admit that, for me, 1994 was the peak of my career so far. For any player to win the Champions Cup or to play in the World Cup Final would be enormous single matter of pride...but I was fortunate enough to be able to experience both those pinnacles of the game within a matter of weeks. Of course, whatever success I may have achieved is not merely down to my own credit. There are other people and influences on my career it would be only fair to acknowledge. Everyone always asks me about my father, Cesare, who captained Milan to their first Champions Cup victory in 1963 and is now our national under-21 coach. But I don't really remember him as a player. I played under his instructions in Milan youth teams when I was a boy but really I learned more from him about being a man, about a correct attitude to the game, than from a technical point of view.

"Then, there has been my captain and colleague Franco Baresi. In my opinion he has received far too little recognition for his influence within the club and within Italian and international football. He is the man of few words but 'talks' instead through his deeds out on the pitch. He really deserves to receive the sort of award I have received from World Soccer. But...thank you again!"]]]]


  • Up to the 2004 - 2005 Season
Season Team Total
Appearance Goals
1984-85 AC Milan 1 0
1985-86 AC Milan 33 0
1986-87 AC Milan 30 1
1987-88 AC Milan 28 0
1988-89 AC Milan 33 0
1989-90 AC Milan 38 1
1990-91 AC Milan 30 4
1991-92 AC Milan 31 3
1992-93 AC Milan 41 3
1993-94 AC Milan 40 2
1994-95 AC Milan 40 2
1995-96 AC Milan 38 3
1996-97 AC Milan 32 1
1997-98 AC Milan 30 0
1998-99 AC Milan 31 1
1999-00 AC Milan 33 4
2000-01 AC Milan 35 1
2001-02 AC Milan 19 0
2002-03 AC Milan 48 2
2003-04 AC Milan 39 0
2004-05 AC Milan 45 1
2005-06 AC Milan 23 2
Total 728 32

The Designated Number

Paolo Maldini has had AC Milan designate the number 3 for his son Christian who was born in 1996. Christian has already been signed for the AC Milan Youth Club.

  • 1:Did not include Coppa Italia or Italian Super Cup
  • 2:Did not include European Super Cup

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I have had chance to play to that greatest level but you have been the inspiration in my life as a school captain, a leader in the varsity politics, a leader at work, you are the BEST, GOD BLESS YOU! -  Femi
you are the greatest man i have ever known.
your present gives me lots of inspiration. and i always feel lyk playing.
as milan good or bad am always there. but i will never forget ur present. i love uuu so much - mutari - from nigeria
Best player ever
Maldini is the reason I watch italian football.
He is the reason I want to be a defender. I am all the way from jamaica
Paolo Maldini, you are my irreplaceable not only as a player but also a figure of Milan. You made me crazy fan of Italian football and Milan since 12 years ago. Every movement of you still cast me unblinkable as 12 years ago. Whenever I watch, so far, Milan games the first thing i do is to look for you. No other player in this world would take your place in my head and heart.
Paolo Maldini is the best Futbol player in the history and he's a wonderful human been, Paolo Ti amo!! Eres lo maximo una inspiracion para la historia del futbol y el mundo entero.
PAOLO MALDINI in Italian it means no entry, we love you man - Luca UK
hi im italy great fan. Maldini is the world best defender and no one can replace him. you are the one make me choose ac milan as my favourite club.your 94 and 98 world cup action is in memory. Maldini ur r the great. - thiagu singapore
Paolo Maldini is the best defence man and best captain
i  first  saw  maldini  at  94   finals  and i was captivated  by  his defending skills. he is like a wall  to attackers. ABBAN B 4RM  NIGERIA
I have so much to say, that I can't say it here, but I'd love to play alongside and against him. He is such a legend, I love him, I was he was my father! I belong to Jesus! Long live Maldini. His father, Cesare, was a legend, his son, Christian, is a legend, and of course, he, Paolo Maldini, born in 1968, is a legend!
Maldini is the best leftback the world has ever seen and also a legend of milan and he should be proud of that for he has fantastic career in only one club.Many great players like Weah,Desaily,Crespo,Stam,Gullit,Van Basten and Rijkaad came and met him at Milan but they left him at Milan.What a legend? Awal from Ghana
Maldini is deff one of the best defenders of our time. he is the type of person you would see giving all they have and should be regarded as one of the best of all time.
Paolo Maldini is the best Soccer player that I adore so much for the last 17 years. He is a very dedicated and noble man. His family life also far from gossip. Hope someday there's a book and show tribute to this super hero in soccer world

Italia '90 was my introduction to football, and it was there that I had the privilege of seeing Paolo Maldini play for the first time.  As a fan of the Rossoneri, I have many memories of Paolo's virtuoso displays throughout his career. From that man-of-the-match captain's role in 2003 when AC Milan were crowned Europeans champions, to his record 100th appearance in the Champions League this season against Celtic, (with many other matches along the way). Whilst on the pitch Paolo always displays leadership qualities, is inspirational in his defensives duties, and is a dignified and calming presence.  I will always regret not having the chance to see my hero play in the flesh.  In recognition of the supreme majesty and sheer brilliance of Paolo Maldini, I would urge television producers to show a tribute programme charting Paolo's club career with MILAN and his international career with Italia. I'm sure his many fans around the globe would appreciate the chance to see the defensive maestro's extraordinary journey since turning professional.  Paula, Dublin - EIRE

Paolo Maldini is not only a great sportsman and a gentleman he is also the most charismatic and handsome footballer ever.

He is the best defender of the world ant the most handsome man in the world



Maldini is the best ever

one of the best defenders the world has seen

Paolo Maldini is the best defence man whom I have seen so far. (Dr. T -12JUL2006-Myanmar)

For all my life i have supported Paolo Maldini from my home country New Zealand. I believe he betters even Franz Beckenbaur. This is because he shows things other than skill. He is Stanley Matthews in that he has played for so many years. He is Alfredo Di Stefano or Ronaldo in that he shows no anger on the pitch, always knowing that fighting with the referee for too long will not better your team. He has the leadership of Luis Figo and David Beckham combined. He never discriminates his team members or others and loses well.

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