Monday, November 3, 2008

Maldini: Inter Don't Scare Us

Milan legend Paolo Maldini was presented with the third Giacinto Facchetti prize yesterday and took a chance to look back at his career and this season's battle with the Cugini.

Facchetti, who was a legend of his own in the Nerazzurri colours, passed away two years ago and the honour is given to the player who embodies the spirit of football.

"It gives me great joy to receive this award," the former Italy international is quoted as saying in the Gazzetta dello Sport. "Our paths and careers were quite similar, not only at club level, but in the National side too.

"I loved Facchetti's calm attitude and Arrigo Sacchi used to rave about him, as he was the first attacking full-back, the first one to interpret the role in a modern way."

The 40-year-old is expected to hang up his boots at the end of this season after a very productive and lengthy career, but vows he will not pursue a coaching career.

"No way," smiled the Rossoneri captain, "I do not think about that at all, I promise that I will surprise you, but I won't be sitting on a bench.

"I had a stupendous career and I still carry with me the memories of my first training session at Linate in 1978, and of course the day of my debut in Udine. And how could I forget the 1990 World Cup and all the trophies won with Milan, particularly the Champions League in 2003."

City rivals Inter are already topping the table after seven rounds, but Paolo seems completely unfazed by the way they seem to steamroller their rivals.

"Really? I do not think we were particularly intimidated during the Derby..." subtly concluded Maldini.

The Diavoli came out on top in the Derby della Madonnina last month, courtesy of a splendid Ronaldinho header.