AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini celebrates 55 birthday, Reliving Rossoneri icon’s illustrious career

Paolo Maldini is undoubtedly one of the best players of the last decade. Having spent all of his career with the RossoneriMaldini is considered to be the greatest player to grace AC Milan’s red and black kit, and also one of the best center-backs to grace the pitch.

Nicknamed “Il Capitano,” Maldini wore the AC Milan kit for the last time in 2009. He did eventually come back in a directorial role at the club, with some huge transfers made and a comeback in the UCL semis this season. Unfortunately, three weeks ago he was sacked, due to different visions with the new American owners.

As the AC Milan legend celebrates his 55th birthday today, we take a look back to his illustrious career that made him one of the greatest defenders of all time.

Paolo Maldini’s achievements with AC Milan

Maldini had a trophy laden career with Milan where he achieved a lot of success as a defender.

With his debut in 1984, he entered the period when AC Milan was about to become one of the biggest clubs in football. The Italian started his as a left back, before transitioning to the center back position. Together, both the club and the player went on to dominate both Italy and Europe in the coming decades.

The defender won seven Serie A titles at the club, one Coppa Italia, and five Italian Super Cup trophies. He was voted 4 times best Seria A defender, and the best defender in the 1994 World Cup, in addition to finishing third twice in the Ballon d’Or poll.

In Europe, he had even more success as he led the club to five European trophies, with three of them won in the UCL era. Maldini had played in eight finals, losing only three of them. In addition, he has four UEFA Super Cup trophies along with a FIFA Club World Cup trophy.

Five-time Champions League winner Maldini lined up for new role with AC  Milan

While the Italian did not win anything with his national team, he was the runner-up in both the 1990 World Cup final and the Euros championship in 2000.

Maldini is included in many Hall of Fame places, in the all-time Euro, all-time AC Milan, and all-time Italy Hall of Fame records. He was also included in the Ballon d’Or dream team in 2020. With 26 trophies won at the club, Paolo Maldini is AC Milan’s most decorated player ever. 

Is Paolo Maldini the best AC Milan player ever?

Paolo isn’t just called the best AC Milan player for no reason. Being a one club man, Il Capitano has had 901 appearances for the club. He has 33 goals and 43 assists in that time. 

Maldini was very calm on the pitch with his graceful defending, only being sent off 3 times in his entire career. His longevity is very much appreciated, having spent 25 years of his life at AC Milan from 1984-2009.

This is why Paolo Maldini is the greatest Milan player - Sports Big News

Maldini’s center-back pairing with Franco Baresi is widely considered to be the best center-back partnership in history, where was consistent in his quality performances in every match and his ability to lead from the back.

He was considered the first modern defender due to his many unique qualities at that time. His tackling ability, along with his interception skills are still appreciated by many current defenders. At the end of his career, AC Milan honored their best player by retiring his jersey number 3. 

Where would you rank Paolo Maldini in the list of soccer’s greatest defenders? Don’t forget to share your opinion in the comments section.


Fazal Al Bashar

481 articles

Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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