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Friday, May 22, 2009

Paolo Maldini, il Grande Capitano: "My Greatest Sorrow was Never Having Won the World Cup."

Sports News - October 27, 2008

Next week in Florence, Paolo Maldini will end his incredible journey that began at the age of 16 in January 1985 with AC Milan. On Sunday, he will play in his last home game at the San Siro against AS Roma.

Twenty five years at the same club. Numerous honors and accolades. Respect on and off the pitch. A man who was a figlio d'arte. Meaning that he followed his father's footsteps into the world of football.

A model of professionalism, a beacon of the city of Milan, and an example of all that is good with sport.

Nobody exemplifies Italian calcio such as he.

When he retires, potentially only his sons, Christian or Daniel, will ever wear the 3 shirt for Milan.

Career Honors

  • 7 Serie A championships.
  • 5 European Cup/Champions League titles. He has played in 8 final games, and that ties him with Paco Gento of Real Madrid for the record.
  • 5 UEFA and Serie A Super Cups.
  • Record holder for appearances at AC Milan, the Serie A, and the Italian National Team.
  • Intercontinental Cup Champion in 1989 and 1990.
  • Bronze medal at World Cup 1990.
  • Silver medal at World Cup 1994.
  • World Soccer Magazine Player of the Year in 1994.
  • Silver medal at Euro 2000.
  • FIFA’s Best 125 living players.
  • He competed at 4 World Cup competitions, along with three European Nations Cups.
  • He played for the Azzurri from 1988 to 2002.
  • 23 completed games at the World Cup, which is a record. (Lothar Matthäus played in 25 games, which is the record for most appearances).
  • 2006-07 UEFA Club Defender of the Year.
  • 2007 FIFA World Club Champion.
Champions League Final - AC Milan Celebration

Excerpts from an Interview in the Gazzetta dello Sport (2008)

Ha giocato 80 partite consecutive senza perdere: le capitava di sentirsi imbattibile?

“Non la vivevo così, però l’imbattibilità era un motivo d’orgoglio e uno stimolo a dare qualcosa in più in ogni partita”.

You played 80 consecutive games without losing. Were you able to understand the feeling of invincibility?

I didn’t experience it that way, but being unbeaten was a motive of pride and a stimulus to give something extra in every game.

Quale partita vorrebbe rivivere in campo per le emozioni che le ha dato?

“La prima: sarà banale, ma è vero. Quel giorno a Udine (20-1-1985, ndr) ho cominciato a sentirmi parte del Milan”.

Which game would you like to relive for the emotions it gave to you?

The first: It will be banal, but it is the truth. That day in Udine (20 January 1985) I began to feel a part of Milan.

Quale finirebbe sicuramente con un risultato diverso, se la rigiocasse?

“La finale di Istanbul, che poi è stata tra le più dolorose ma anche tra quelle giocate meglio”.

Which one would have had a different result if you replayed it?

The final in Istanbul (2005) that was among the most painful but also among the best played.

EUROPEAN CUP FINAL
Da quale maestro ha imparato di più?

“Liedholm: i suoi insegnamenti sono stati preziosi. Anche Vicini, Sacchi e Capello mi hanno dato molto. Poi, con l’esperienza e l’età , anch’io ho cominciato a dare qualcosa”.

Which coach taught you the most?

“(Nils) Liedholm: his teachings have been precious. Also (Azeglio) Vicini, (Arrigo) Sacchi and (Fabio) Capello have given me a great deal. Also, with experience and age, I began to give myself something.

1994 WORLD CUP FINAL

Ha giocato 126 partite in Nazionale: a Cannavaro ne mancano 14 per raggiungerla. Le dispiacerebbe essere superato?

“Un pochino sì, ma il grosso dispiacere è non aver mai vinto il Mondiale”.

You played in 126 international games. (Fabio) Cannavaro only needs 14 games to reach that figure. Would it displease you to be overtaken?

A little bit yes, but the greatest sorrow was never having won the World Cup.

Originally translated by Steve Amoia for Soccerlens in February 2008.

Paolo Maldini: A Monument to Calcio





"La mia scelta è definitiva, nessun ripensamento. So che una volta finito il campionato farò una vacanza davvero lunga almeno fino a settembre, e poi valuterò le eventuali proposte per il futuro. Di sicuro non farò l'allenatore".

Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, May 2009.
"My choice is final, no second thoughts. I know that once the season is finished, I will take a long vacation at least until September. Then I will decide the eventual proposals for the future. Surely I will not become a coach."
Special Gifts and Events at the Game

Esclusivi omaggi per celebrare il Capitano!

Exclusive free gifts to celebrate the Captain!

Per tutti i tifosi presenti a San Siro domenica ci sarà un regalo speciale: verranno consegnati direttamente all'interno dello stadio IN ESCLUSIVA i prodotti celebrativi di Paolo Maldini

la sciarpa “Tre solo per te” creata per l'occasione
l’album Panini con le 24 figurine della carriera del Capitano

ATTENZIONE: nessuno di questi prodotti sarà in vendita e si potrà pertanto trovare esclusivamente all’interno dello stadio, il giorno della partita.

For all of the fans at the game on Sunday, there will be special gifts:

A scarf, "Three Only for You," created for the occasion.

24 Panini figurines of his career.

Attention:

None of these products will be sold and you can only find them inside of the stadium on the day of the game.


SOLO ed ESCLUSIVAMENTE all’interno dello stadio presso il Milan Shop (situato in prossimità dell’ingresso 8) e il San Siro Store, i tifosi potranno acquistare la NUOVA maglia rossonera 2009-2010 personalizzata “MALDINI 3” e impreziosita dal patch celebrativo “Tre solo per te” (prezzo di vendita: Euro 82,comprensivo di patch e personalizzazione nome-numero). In occasione di Milan-Roma, la Squadra scenderà infatti in campo con la nuova casacca rossonera della prossima stagione.

Giro di Campo

Immancabile il giro di campo del Capitano a fine partita. Paolo Maldini saluterà tutti i suoi tifosi, che lo hanno accompagnato nei 25 indimenticabili stagioni in rossonero e che lo hanno accompagnato nella conquista di ben 26 trofei con il Club rossonero nel corso della sua carriera da calciatore professionista.

Only and exclusively inside the stadium at the Milan Shop at the San Siro, fans can buy the new Milan kit for 2009-2010 personalized with "Maldini 3" and imprinted with a special patch "Three Only For You." In occasion of Milan x Roma, the team will wear the new shirt for this game.

Victory Lap

The final lap around the stadium by the Captain at the end of the game will be unforgettable. Paolo Maldini will greet all of his fans that have accompanied him in these 25 unforgettable seasons and have been there with him in the conquest of 26 trophies with the Milan club in the course of his professional football career.

Italian Source: AC Milan web site.

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