Maldini retires from Italy
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
One of the most recognisable players on the globe, Maldini will rightfully also be remembered as one of the greatest defenders ever to grace the game.
At 34 Maldini looked unlikely to make it through to the next World Cup, but he may have featured at the European Championships.
However, the defender did not look his normal commanding self this summer, as Italy bowed out to Korea, and it appears this has made the player's mind up for him.
Maldini will now concentrate on his beloved Milan - the club that he has been at for his entire career - making his debut in the 1984/85 season.
More than 120 caps for his country, many as captain, as well as nearly 500 appearances for his one and only club have made the player an icon of all that is great about Milan.
The son of another legend Cesare, who will be the coach of Paraguay in the World Cup, Maldini's experience will be a major plus for The Azzurri, as well as his assured leadership skills.
As a member of the legendary Rossoneri side of the late 1980's and early 1990's, Maldini's medal cabinet is comparable, just like the player himself, with the greatest in the worlds'.
Six Italian Serie A titles (87-88,91-92,92-93,93-94,95-96,98-99), 3 Champions League titles (88-89,89-90,93-94), as well as 6 domestic cups and 3 Uefa Supercups, pay testament that Maldini has played alongside and not suffered in comparison with some of the best players football has ever seen, including Marco van Basten, Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit, George Weah and Frank Rijkaard.