Venezuela coach confirms Maldini’s national team decision: “Doors always open”

By Euan Burns -

Venezuela head coach Fernando Batista has confirmed that Daniel Maldini will continue trying to break into the Italy setup rather than swap allegiances with Venezuela.

Speaking to TMW (via Football Italia), Batista explained that talks had been held with the Monza loanee and his father, Paolo Maldini, but the winger wants to continue what he is doing for the time being.

Maldini is eligible to play for Venezuela through his mother and the Venezuelan FA were aware of this, which is why they began trying to capitalise on the fact that he has not played for Italy’s senior team.

There is no suggestion that Maldini is going to be in the Italy setup in the immediate future, but he could sign for Monza permanently from AC Milan in the summer which could lead to more consistent game time in a settled environment.

This must have been a major factor in Maldini’s decision which was to turn down Venezuela.

Batista explained that the door remains open to Maldini with Venezuela should he have a change of heart down the line.

“Yes, I talked to him. Both with him and with Paolo, his father. We know that he has the opportunity to play with us because of his mother, who is Venezuelan. We invited him to participate in an internship and in the Pre-Olympic work which was held recently in Venezuela with the Under 23s,” Batista said.

“Daniel thanked me strongly, but told me that for the moment he prefers to continue as so, he wants to see if he can play with Italy. We tried, I spoke to both his father and him to invite him to play.

“For the moment he appreciates it a lot, but he wants to wait and understand if he will be able to play for Italy one day, and one must respect that. However, if one day he wants to change his mind and play for Venezuela, the doors are always open.”

Maldini was on loan at Empoli this season but after featuring infrequently, he was sent to Monza where he is playing well.

Tags AC Milan Daniel Maldini
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