Paolo Maldini

3 07 2008


Paolo Maldini (born 26 June 1968 in Milan) is an Italian footballer who plays for Serie A club A.C. Milan. The son of Cesare Maldini, he has spent his entire career with Milan, and is the most-selected player in both the history of the club and Serie A. He played at the left back position for the majority of his career and has played the centre back position since 2002, but he made several appearances at left back in the 2007-08 season.

Club career

Maldini made his league debut on 20 January 1985, at the age of sixteen, against Udinese Calcio as a halftime substitution for the injured Sergio Battistini. It would be his only league appearance of the campaign, but he was in the starting eleven the following season.

The 1987–88 Scudetto marked Maldini’s first major trophy, and the first of seven league titles, with the club. He was also part of AC Milan’s undefeated “Dream Team” from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.

In addition to winning his third Champions League and reaching the 1994 FIFA World Cup final, Maldini became the first defender ever to win World Soccer magazine’s annual World Player of the Year Award. During his acceptance speech, Maldini called his milestone “a particular matter of pride because defenders generally receive so much less attention from fans and the media than goalscorers. We are more in the engine room rather than taking the glory.” He then singled out Milan captain Franco Baresi as a player who “really [deserved] to receive the sort of award I have received.”

Maldini played his 600th Serie A match on 13 May 2007, in a 1–1 draw at Calcio Catania. On 25 September 2005, Maldini broke Dino Zoff’s Serie A appearance record after playing his 571st league match against Treviso F.B.C.; seven days earlier, he had played his 800th game in all competitions for Milan. On February 16, 2008, Maldini reached 1,000 senior games with AC Milan and Italy when he entered as a substitute against Parma.

Maldini has participated in eight UEFA Champions League finals during the course of his career, which is more than any other active player, and close to the record held by Francisco Gento. He has lifted the trophy five times, the latest coming in Milan’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the 2007 CL final on 23 May 2007, in Athens. In an interview with ESPN that aired prior to the broadcast of the 2007 final, he labeled the 2005 final, which Milan lost on penalties to Liverpool in extra time after blowing a 3–0 lead, the worst moment of his career, even though he had scored the fastest-ever goal in a European Clubs’ Cup final just 51 seconds into the match, in the process also becoming the oldest player ever to score in a final.

Maldini announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2007-08 season, saying that he would do so with “no regrets.” However, following Milan’s elimination from the Champions League by Arsenal F.C. in March, Maldini stated that he would possibly delay his retirement for at least a further year. He signed an extension on June 6 that will keep him at Milan for the 2008-09 season.

Milan plan to retire his number 3 shirt, but it will be bequeathed to one of his sons if he makes the club’s senior side. His eldest son, Christian, is twelve years old and is currently playing for the Milan youth squad.

International career

Maldini is Italy’s most capped player with 126 appearances, and all seven of his career international goals were scored in home matches. He spent over half of his 16 years as an international as team captain, and is also one of three current Milan players who have earned the most caps for their national teams, along with Cafu and Dario Šimić.

However, he never won a major title with the Azzurri. After Italy finished third as the host nation in the 1990 World Cup, Maldini played in his first and only World Cup final in 1994, which Italy lost to Brazil on penalties. Maldini also played a part in the less successful 1998 and 2002 World Cup campaigns, being eliminated in the quarterfinals and last 16, respectively.

Maldini was also a finalist in Italy’s Euro 2000 squad that lost to France in the final. He had previously taken part in Euro 1988 and Euro 1996, while Italy failed to qualify for Euro 1992.

Honours

* Serie A

* Winner (7):

* 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004

* Runner-up (3):

* 1990, 1991, 2005

* Coppa Italia

* Winner (1):

* 2003

* Runner-up (2):

* 1990, 1998

* Supercoppa Italiana

* Winner (5):

* 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2004

* Runner-up (3):

* 1996, 1999, 2003

* UEFA Champions League

* Winner (5):

* 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007

* Runner-up (3):

* 1993, 1995, 2005

* UEFA Super Cup

* Winner (5):

* 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007

* Runner-up (1):

* 1993

* Intercontinental Cup

* Winner (2):

* 1989, 1990

* Runner-up (3):

* 1993, 1994, 2003

* FIFA Club World Cup

* Winner (1):

* 2007

International

* FIFA World Cup

* Runner-up: 1994
* Third place: 1990
* Apperances: 1990 1994 1998 2002

* UEFA European Championship

* Runner-up: 2000

Personal

* FIFA 100 (125 greatest living players)

* The 100 Greatest Players of the 20th Century – World Soccer Magazine

* World Soccer Player of the Year 1994

* 1994 FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament

* Serie A Defender of the Year: 2004

* UEFA Champions League Best Defender: 2007

* Most Outstanding Young Football Player in Europe (Bravo Award) 1989

* UEFA Team of the Year: 2003, 2005

* FIFPro World XI: 2005

* FIFA World Player of the Year (runner-up): 1995

* Most Capped Player for Azzurri


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One response

7 07 2008
Varius

paolo maldini masih main ga nih??? uda pensiun belum ya dia..kan udah tua banget…….

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