Sunday, May 24, 2009

Roma Ace Francesco Totti Hails Milan Legend Paolo Maldini

‘Er Pupone’ has heaped praise on the retiring Rossoneri skipper, but insists that Roma still need a victory at all costs this afternoon...Vince Masiello

(pic archive:Serie A - Roma v Milan 15 Mar 2008 )

Paolo Maldini will say farewell to the San Siro crowd today, as Milan host Roma in the penultimate game of the Serie A season, and Lupi captain Francesco Totti has paid tribute to the 40-year-old icon.

“He is an extraordinary champion, a fantastic player who has gone through so many years in football that, meanwhile, has radically changed,” Totti told the Corriere dello Sport.

“In his role, I think he is one of the greatest in the history of football. But I don’t think he needs to go out with a win, that would not change much for him, whereas this match could change Roma’s fate for next season.”

Roma are still chasing a place in the Europa League, but Milan are also pushing for a win to secure an automatic berth for next term’s Champions League.

“It will be Maldini’s party, but we are focusing on spoiling it,” joked Totti.

“I am sure that Palermo will win their remaining games and will get to 61 points. So, if we only pick up four points, we will miss out. We have no alternatives and will play to win against Milan.”

Palermo are currently two points adrift of the Lupi and travel to Atalanta today, before facing Sampdoria at home on the final day, while Roma will host relegation-haunted Torino next weekend.

Vince Masiello,