Sunday, May 24, 2009

Maldini urged to hit Millennium

Paolo Maldini has received an award for his 900th game in a Milan jersey and was urged to “carry on all the way to 1000!”

The defender is set to hang up his boots at the end of the season and this afternoon against Roma will be his final home game at San Siro.

“Maldini has played 900 games in 24 years,” said Vice-President Adriano Galliani as he presented the captain with a special commemorative medal.

“From the first, on January 20 1985 at the Friuli against Udinese to the 900th, in the same stadium on May 16 2009, always in the Milan jersey.

“I told Paolo he has until July 6 to change his mind and try to get all the way to 1,000 games…

“I think Paolo has no equals in the world and nobody has been able to play 900 official matches for the same team at the highest level.

“I believe his is a record that will remain in the history books throughout the ages. I doubt anyone will be able to repeat this achievement in a big club like Milan.”

Maldini’s Number 3 jersey will be retired when he hangs up his boots, but only temporarily.

After father Cesare and son Paolo, the third generation of Maldini is in the Rossoneri youth system, so the shirt is reserved for when Christian comes of age.

“Both he and his father lifted the Champions League trophy for Milan as captains with a 40-year gap,” added Galliani.

“It’s incredibly difficult for that to happen again. Maldini’s career is simply incredible.”

Channel 4