Saturday, January 5, 2008

Maldini's Moscow swansong

Paolo Maldini is planning the perfect final match to his career – the Champions League Final in Moscow.

The Milan captain has confirmed he will hang up his boots at the end of this season after more than 20 years at the top level.

“Am I already picturing my farewell game? Yes, it will be played in Moscow,” he smiled.

In order to get there, the Rossoneri must eliminate Arsenal in February’s second round of the competition.

“It will be a very difficult and spectacular test. Arsenal have great quality and unpredictability, while nobody can match us in terms of experience. We have no reason to fear any opponent.”

Maldini has made it clear that when he does retire, it will not be to follow in his father’s footsteps as Coach of Milan and Italy.

“I cannot say what I will do, but I can quite safely confirm what I do not want to do, and that is coaching. It could be interesting to work with the youth sector, especially as Milan have not been churning out as many homegrown talents as they used to and with the new international rules it will become very important.”

Il Capitano is currently in Dubai with his Rossoneri teammates for a mid-season training camp that should restore their fitness after a woeful start to the Serie A season.

“Right now we feel free from any pressure. It is pointless denying the first match back will be a very important test for us,” added Maldini.

“It is difficult to understand how Milan can play so well away from home and yet struggle badly in their own stadium. We’ve got to beat that taboo and Napoli, who are doing very well, when we get back to San Siro.”

This is the first time in Serie A history that Milan have failed to win any of their first seven home games.

Channel 4