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Rossoneri Advent Calendar Day 3: Maldini and the Hefty Captain's Armband

31 Days Remembering Players From Milan’s Past, Each Date Will Feature A Player Who Donned The Jersey Number.

Seria A: Milan v Roma Photo by Newpress/Getty Images

Paolo Maldini has been AC Milan's crown jewel across generations in an incredible career spanning decades from 1984 to 2009. Maldini won every single possible trophy with Milan and more importantly led his side to the summit of world football with his invincible attitude and his sheer determination to win.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Juventus v AC Milan Photo by Mike Egerton/EMPICS via Getty Images

There is only one way to refer to Maldini's time with Milan and it lies with his nickname, ‘Il Capitano.’ Nothing else can describe what he did and the impact he had outside of recognising him as the true leader that he is. Maldini assumed the captaincy in 1997 when Milan were struggling after a couple of rough seasons as Franco Baresi hung up his boots, the heavy responsibility feel on the shoulders on Maldini and he sought to emulate his father Cesare who also led Milan as the captain between 1961 and 1966. Maldini did the armband justice as he faithfully led the Rossoneri for 12 years and won both the league and the champions league while at the helm. Maldini is one of the best ever defenders to play the game both as a left back and centre back but his ability to lead is what truly set him apart as he carried Milan through their trials to become a truly feared side in world football.

Achievements with Milan

  • Serie A: 1987–88, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04
  • European Cup/Champions League: 1988–89, 1989–90, 1993–94, 2002–03, 2006–07
  • Coppa Italia: 2002–03
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2004
  • UEFA Super Cup: 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003
  • Intercontinental Cup: 1989, 1990
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 2007

Top Highlight

Maldini's famous quote “if I have to make a tackle then I have already made a mistake,” was a cornerstone of the philosophy of the player and the Milan side that won 3 back-to-back Scudetti between 1991 and 1994 which included an unbeaten run of 58 games thanks to the rock solid defensive partnership of Maldini-Baresi-Costacurta-Tassotti. Watch some highlights here or below.