Thursday, May 7, 2009

Italy Match Against Northern Ireland Could Serve As Maldini Farewell - Report

The former Italy captain may play his final match in Pisa against Northern Ireland...

Italy had already booked two friendlies prior to the Confederations Cup as preparation for the tournament, but the exact venue of the June 6 contest against Northern Ireland had yet to be decided.

According to Eurosport, the match with the European outfit will be played in Pisa, as confirmed by FIGC president Giancarlo Abete and the mayor of Pisa, Marco Filippeschi.

There are suggestions that the match could serve as Milan captain Paolo Maldini's farewell to Calcio. A campaign was started by earlier this season and both Maldini himself and Nazionale boss Marcello Lippi have said they are open to the idea of giving the Milan captain a send off before he retires.

A similar event was done for Roberto Baggio in 2004 on the verge of his retirement, as he was involved one last time for the Azzurri in a friendly against Spain.

The 40-year-old made 126 appearances for Italy between 1988 and 2002, leaving the international scene after the World Cup in Japan and Korea. He will retire from club football at the end of the season after 24 years with the Rossoneri first-team.

The Confederations Cup takes place from June 14-28 in South Africa.

Adam Scime,