Paolo Maldini was one of the greatest players and defenders to play the game of football, and to play for AC Milan. Along with many other greats of his time Paolo set some amazing standards for the club and what it means to play for AC Milan.
He won in total 26 trophies while playing for AC Milan, including 7 Serie A titles, 1 Coppa Italia, 5 Supercoppa Italiana, 5 European/Champions League Titles, 5 UFEA Super Cups, 2 International Cups, and 1 FIFA Club World Cup. Lets take a look at his past….
49 years ago one of the greatest defenders in the history of A.C. Milan, and arguable the world was born, and it was the greatest gift that A.C. Milan fans have ever received. His Name was Paolo Cesare Maldini, and he was destined for greatness at a club that knew his family very well. His father Cesare Maldini played 12 years at the club where he was the captain.
Paolo started with the Milan Youth team in 1978 when he was 10 year old. From 1978 to 1985 Paolo played for the Milan youth team before he was called up to the Senior team in 1985. He took the field for the first time on January 20th 1985, at the age of 16. That was his only appearance with the Senior team that year. Following the 85’ season Paolo was made a regular in the AC Milan line up for the rest of his career.
The First of his trophies on the senior squad came during the 1987-88 season when they won the Scudetto. During that season, the team know as The Immortals only conceded 14 goals, finishing with the best defense in Italy. After this season six more league titles would follow including the famous 1991-92 season where the team went 58 league games unbeaten. Milan would go on to win the Scudetto in 92-93, 93-94, 95-96, 98-99; and the final of his career in 2006-07’.
In just his second and third seasons with Milan, Paolo had won the European Cup with Milan in back to back seasons. Up until 2017, they where the last team to win back to back European Championships.
Milan would go on to reach 3 finals in a row losing 0-1 to Marseille. Following that season Maldini would win 3 more European Cups/Champion’s League Trophies leading the team as Captain in the 2002-2003 and 2006-2007 tournaments.
Under his Captaincy, AC Milan saw some immediate improvements, winning the Scudetto in the 1998-99’ and 2003-04’ seasons. Helped lead the team to the UCL trophy in 2002-03’, and the 2006-07’ seasons.
In total Paolo had 902 appearances scoring 33 goals for AC Milan.
Paolo also had a very long career with the National team of Italy, making 126 appearances in 15 years, scoring 7 goals. He helped lead the team to a third place finish in 1990 world Cup and a second place finish at the 1994 World Cup. In the UFEA Championship he helped lead Italy to the semi-finals in 1988, and a second place finish in 2000.
Happy Birthday from all of us here at Sempre Milan.
• UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1988, 1996, 2000
• FIFA World Cup All Star Team: 1990, 1994
• Ballon d’Or: 3rd Place 1994, 2003
• World Soccer Player of the Year: 1994
• UNICEF European Footballer of the Season:1993-94
• FIFA Worl Player of the Year: 1995 (Silver)
• FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2002
• FIFA XI: 2002
• UFEA UCL Final Man of the Match: 2003
• UEFA Team of the Year: 2003, 2005
• UEFA President’s Award: 2003
• Serie A Defender of the Year: 2004
• FIFA 100
• UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll: #10
• FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2005
• UEFA Club Defender of the Year: 2007
• Premio internazionale Giacinto Facchetti: 2008
• FIFA Order of Merit: 2008
• UEFA Champions League Achievement Award: 2009
• Marca Leyenda: 2009
• Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2012
• World Soccer Greatest XI of all time: 2013
• One Club Man Award: 2016
• UEFA Euro All-time XI
• A.C. Milan Hall of Fame