Former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini has admitted that the Champions League final against Liverpool in 2005 is the only one that he still remembers.
The former Rossoneri captain is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever defenders to have ever played the game, making well over 600 appearances for Milan in all competitions.
He also played in eight Champions League/European Cup finals as a Milan player during his 25-year spell at the club, winning five and helping contribute to a total of 25 major honours won with his boyhood club.
He followed in the footsteps of his father Cesare was the captain when Milan won their first European Cup in 1963.
Paolo is now a director at the club under Elliott Management, and his two sons Christian and Daniel have come through the Milan academy.
Maldini did an interview with UEFA.com about being in the ‘100 club’ in terms of appearances in the Champions League.
“There are very few years from 1954 onwards in which a Maldini has not been part of Milan,” he said (via MilanNews.it).
“My relationship with this club started in 1978 and never came to a close. The fact that at least one member of the Maldini family has been at Milan since the 1950s says a lot.
“My goal in the 2005 final? It was the fastest scored in a Champions League final, the most dramatic to prove that things cannot be taken for granted and it’s that unpredictability which makes the sport marvellous.
“It makes me laugh that I played eight European Cup finals and won five of them, but people only seem to remember that one. It left an important mark.
“We were the favourites, we played much better than Liverpool and the momentum of the game never really shifted apart from those six minutes.
“We were consistently threatening going forward. But when you accept these painful situations, it becomes easier for you to have other chances to make up for them.”
Milan got revenge two years later in the 2007 Champions League Final in Athens, but Maldini doesn’t exactly remember much.
“I remember very little of the game. I had taken so many painkillers to get through it. I remember Pippo Inzaghi’s goals, the final whistle and a little of the celebrations.
“When I had surgery three days after the final, every time I woke up, I’d ask if we had won or lost, just to make sure.”