Maldini: ‘I couldn’t see myself at a club other than Milan’


Milan legend Paolo Maldini says he couldn’t see himself at a club other than the Rossoneri: ‘….I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t be able to.’ The legendary Azzurri defender was speaking in a wide-ranging interview on Radio TV Serie A (as quoted by Tuttosport) and touched on a number of subjects, including his time with Milan as a director, and what the future holds for him:

“I loved the National Team and I had seen the World Cup in ’78, where, essentially, Italy was Juventus. I became passionate about that story. I followed Juventus as if it were the National Team, but in ’78, I had a trial at Milan, and things fell into place as they should have been.” Paolo Maldini was the protagonist of a lengthy interview on Radio Serie A. The former technical area manager of Milan returned to speak almost a year after his departure from the club where he was a flagbearer and captain.

“The present? I’m living it well, after five intense years. I’m experiencing it as after my retirement, before I started the adventure with Milan as a director. Gratitude towards Milan? I will always be grateful to Milan and the people I met there. Even in my last experience, I never stopped learning. When you see football from the other side, you see everything differently.”

“What wouldn’t I do again? I would erase the things I said as a player; the vision is limited. I don’t know if I am the custodian of Milanism, but football and Milan, in particular, have taught me principles. It’s something that goes beyond the result; it’s more important. When you talk about a centuries-old story, it needs to be studied and learned. Do I go to the stadium? No, it’s logical. I follow Milan and Monza.”

On the responsibility of being a symbol for Milan’s history, Maldini added: “When you are within a club, the role imposes it on you, but when I go around, I feel like Paolo, not the Milan fan. I believe that people appreciate you over the years as a person, not just as a footballer. It’s a matter of discipline. Football should teach you to understand who you want to be.”

A step back. Until the trial with Milan: “It could only be done after the age of 10; my father accompanied me. I had never played 11-a-side on a regular field; they asked me about the role, and I didn’t know. I asked what positions were available, they said right-wing, and I said ok. In the end, a coach approached me and made me sign the famous card that bound me to Milan for many years.”

Finally, a step forward: “Seeing myself at a club other than Milan, I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t be able to. I never said no to anyone. I went two or three times to Nasser Al-Khelaifi at PSG before Milan, but it didn’t go well, and thinking about it today, it was lucky. My first ten months as a manager at Milan were about learning; I felt inadequate. I couldn’t determine anything; Leonardo laughed because I told him that every day. For me, it was fortunate.”


Serie A obsessive.