AC Milan icon Paolo Maldini has documented how he feels the role of full-back has changed, as evidenced by a current Rossoneri star in Theo Hernandez.
Maldini is rightly widely regarded as one of the greatest ever defenders, and as one of the greatest players that Italy has ever produced, having captained the Rossoneri for many years.
He held the record for most appearances in Serie A with 647 until this year, and Maldini spent all 25 seasons of his playing career with Milan before retiring at the age of 41 in 2009.
He won 25 trophies with the club including the European Cup/UEFA Champions League five times, seven Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, five Supercoppa Italiana titles, five European/UEFA Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup.
Maldini was the only Italian elected to the France Football Dream Team, and he spoke to the French magazine about how the role of the full-back has changed compared to when he was a player.
“During Pirlo’s farewell match two years ago, I was with Fabio Paratici who told me: ‘Even though it was a friendly match, I understood one thing. It was a blocked game until Cafu and Serginho entered and made a difference. Now these players are no longer here’,” he said (via MilanNews).
“It is a role that has changed a lot. Alphonso Davies is different from Marcelo who is different from Theo Hernandez, who is different in turn from his brother Lucas.
“It depend a lot on the style of play, on the needs. Some profiles can adapt, others are more limited. In the Sacchi years, we were guided by this idea of the game, the full-back had to follow certain indications without his characteristics, not allowing the man to pass. You have to have some flexibility.”