Thursday, May 31, 2007

LEGEND- Paolo Maldini

# Vital Statistics: Born June 26, 1968 in Milan. 6'1" and 185 lb.

# Position: The best attacking fullback in the game of soccer.

# Club: AC Milan. Over 280 caps and 17 goals in Serie A.

* Club debut: January 20, 1985 versus Udinese (drew 1-1).

# International: Italy. Almost 70 caps. 3 goals.

* International debut: March 31, 1988 versus Yugoslavia (drew 1-1).

# Honors:

* Italian Championship : 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994.
* European Champions' Cup: 1989, 1990, 1994.
* European Supercup: 1989, 1990, 1995.
* World Club Cup: 1989, 1990.
* ITALIA 90: Third place.
* USA 94: Runner-up.
* WORLD SOCCER's World Player of the Year: 1994.
o First defender to win, which puts him in the same class of Platini, Rossi, and Zico.

On receiving his award, Maldini said: "It's a great honor for me to know that so many people consider me so highly. It's a particular matter of pride because defenders generally receive so much less attention from fans and the media than goalscorers. We are more in the engine room rather than taking the glory. I must admit that, for me, 1994 was the peak of my career so far. For any player to win the Champions Cup or to play in the World Cup Final would be enormous single matter of pride --- but I was fortunate enough to be able to experience both those pinnacles of the game within a matter of weeks. Of course, whatever success I may have achieved is not merely down to my own credit. There are other people and influences on my career it would be only fair to acknowledge. Everyone always asks me about my father, Cesare, who captained Milan to their first Champions Cup victory in 1963 and is now our national under-21 coach. But I don't really remember him as a player. I played under his instructions in Milan youth teams when I was a boy but really I learned more from him about being a man, about a correct attitude to the game, than from a technical point of view. Then, there has been my captain and colleague Franco Baresi. In my opinion he has received far too little recognition for his influence within the club and within Italian and international football. He is the man of few words but 'talks' instead through his deeds out on the pitch. He really deserves to receive the sort of award I have received from World Soccer. But ... thank you again!"

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