Shevchenko shares hilarious story on finding out Maldini was his neighbour

By Oliver Fisher -

Andriy Shevchenko has lifted the lid on what it was like when David Beckham arrived at the club and also shared details about the moment he inadvertently found out Paolo Maldini was his neighbour.

Beckham’s spent most of his career with Manchester United before moving to Real Madrid, and then in 2007 he signed a five-year contract with Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy to become probably the biggest start in the league.

However, he wanted to keep testing himself at the highest level to keep alive his England ambitions and thus the midfield had two loan spells in Italy with Milan in 2009 and 2010.

In his new book ‘My Life, My Football’, which you can buy here, Shevchenko recalled how he was struck by Beckham’s dedication to the game and staying in shape, as well as a kick-about that led to Maldini knocking on his door.

“Ancelotti was still in charge, while on the pitch I could admire close-up the talent of Ronaldinho, an absolute phenomenon. In training, I saw professionalism taken to a different level by David Beckham,” Sheva said.

“Those who didn’t know him spoke of his image, his wife Victoria, his obsession with looking good. The lucky ones who got to work with him every day spoke, instead, of an almost maniacal application, of a continual desire to raise the bar. Sweat and fatigue, running and exercises to raise the quality of a technique that was already ultra-refined.

“Beckham really was an example. I appreciated the way he conducted himself and saw the role of a footballer. We shared a few dinners, and more than a few funny moments, like the time I invited him to my house to watch Inter play Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League.

“Also present were Beppe Favalli, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta and my friend Donato. David had spent many years playing for the Red Devils and had remained a big fan. We, as Milan players and his team-mates, aligned ourselves with him on the couch. The English won 2-0, and let’s just say that some members of the group twice ran up to my living room windows, screaming ‘goal!’

“The house was on Via Ravizza, near to San Siro. One night, me, Beckham, Favalli and Nesta played a game of football in the small garden. Every now and then, the ball finished on my neighbour’s lawn on the other side of the wall. When this happened, we shouted ‘ball’ like you do when you’re a kid, but nobody responded.

“Luckily, we had a few back-ups. We weren’t exactly being quiet, and one or two shrieks may have slipped out. At a certain point, the doorbell rang. We looked each other in the eye, thinking ‘right, maybe someone is angry about the noise we’re making and has come to tell us’.

“Sure enough, when we opened the door, my neighbour was standing there. With four balls in his arms. He looked like a juggler and didn’t seem best pleased. ‘Excuse me lads, are these yours?’

“‘Yes, Paolo…’ My neighbour was Paolo Maldini. We burst out laughing. We had just found a new participant for our impromptu game. ‘I’d like to play in defence, if possible…’.”

Tags AC Milan Andriy Shevchenko david beckham Paolo Maldini
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