Emotional awarding today at Milanello. Adriano Galliani gave Paolo Maldini the celebrative medal for his 900 appearences with Milan: 'I think this record will last forever.'
MILANELLO - Before the team's training session this afternoon, ahead of Milan-Roma, last home match of the season and last match at San Siro in Paolo Maldini's career, a very special awarding took place. Adriano Galliani gave the Rossoneri captain the celebrative medal (with which the club celebrates each player's 100th game) for his 900th appearence in Milan's shirt. Maldini reached this target last Saturday at the 'Friuli' against Udinese, in the stadium where he made his debut in 1985.
Adriano Galliani started the awarding as follows in front of Milan Channel's cameras: 'Paolo Maldini has reached the 900 game milestone in 24 years. From the first, on 20 January 1985 at Udine against Udinese to the 900th, again at Udine on 16 May 2009.'
After these declarations, the Rossoneri team, who had gathered in front of the captain and Milan's Delegate Administrator, a long applause was given. Galliani then said to the players' group: 'I told Paolo that he has time until 6 July to change his mind and try to reach 1000 games..."
Adriano Galliani then continued: 'I saw an interesting statistic. Each time Maldini reached a 100th game, he played an away game. The 100th, the 200th and so on until the 900th, all away from home. It's a very interesting thing. I think Paolo has no equals in the world and nobody managed to play 900 official games in the same team like him. I think this is an absolute record that will remain in history. I don't think there will ever be a player in an important team like Milan who manages to reach this amount of games. I have no abjectives to explain what we think of Paolo, the numbers speak for him. And then his characteristics, which are unique in the world.
Paolo Maldini has another luck: he and his father lifted the Champions League as Milan captains. They didn't just win it, but lifted it as champions, 40 years apart. This will probably never happen again. Maldini's career is simply incredible.'
At this point there was more applause for the captain, who thanked everyone and promised to talk about his emotions after tomorrow's game.