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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Il Capitano, Paolo Maldini: 1000 Games For AC Milan and Italy

Tonight in Parma, the legendary AC Milan captain, Paolo Maldini, celebrated his 1000th appearance for club and country. He came on as a 70th minute substitute for Marek Jankulovski.

“I hope my legacy will be one of absolute respect for the sport and opposition. This respect has been recognised by the fans, as I have never been insulted or jeered in any particular fashion.

I did not create a personality or character that is separate from how I am in real life and this was appreciated by fans.”

Source: Football Italia.

He has played 23 years for the same club, which is a milestone in and of itself. He has been the Milan captain since 1997, and was the Italy captain from 1994 to 2002. In both instances, he succeeded Franco Baresi. When he retires in May, Italian calcio and world football will commemorate a player for the ages: Paolo Maldini.

Total Appearances and Goals
  • 126 for the Italian National Team (He was the captain 64 times).
  • 874 for AC Milan, where he debuted in January 1985 as a 16 year old against Udinese.
  • He has scored 43 goals in his career.
Career Honors
  • 7 Serie A championships.
  • 5 European Cup/Champions League titles. He has played in 8 final games, which is a co-record with Paco Gento of Real Madrid.
  • 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.
  • 2007 UEFA Club Defender of the Year.
  • 2007 FIFA World Club Champion.
Tanti auguri, Paolo. Sei grande.

For an interview with him in Italian about the momentous event, please click here.

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