The legend deserves his own thread.
Truth be told, I am shocked by this news. I thought that, prior to these interviews, Maldini has always told us that he would not be retiring at the end of the season; that he would continue for at least another one.
- Maldini reveals quit plans
Tuesday 21 November, 2006
Milan captain Paolo Maldini is set to retire from football at the end of the season, according to the latest reports in Italy.
The Rossoneri symbol is in his 23rd campaign with the club, a new record in Italian football as the previous best was Silvio Piola’s 22, but it may also be his last.
Maldini, who will turn 39 next year, is still suffering with knee problems which haven’t been solved by the surgery he had in Belgium at the end of the last campaign.
“Things are not going well,” said the captain to some friends, according to Il Corriere dello Sport. “Both knees hurt and it isn’t easy to train this way.
“I have played some good matches recently, but the situation is not that positive for the future. At this point in time I think I will retire at the end of this season,” added the Rossonero.
The legendary stopper has made 591 appearances in Serie A so far, winning seven Scudetti with Milan.
He was capped 126 times by the Nazionale over 14 years, an all-time record in Italy, ending his Azzurri career on June 18, 2002, in the 2-1 World Cup defeat against South Korea.
Maldini has not yet decided on what he will do after he hangs up his boots, but he doesn’t seem keen on following his father’s example and becoming a Coach.
“To say the truth, I haven’t thought of what I will do after I stop playing football,” Maldini has stated in the past. “But in any case it’s too early to think about it.”
Maldini confirms retirement idea
Tuesday 21 November, 2006
Paolo Maldini has confirmed this morning’s reports that this may be his last season as a professional footballer.
The Milan captain has been suffering with knee problems for some time and stories on Tuesday claimed he would end his extraordinary career after 23 seasons with the Rossoneri.
“Everything is going fine at the moment,” noted Maldini, a seven time Serie A winner, to Milan Channel.
“I am playing with continuity and that is what I planned on doing at the start of this campaign. I am very happy.
“But I am not thinking about renewing my contract next year. If I were to think about June now then I could consider quitting.
“However, I may change my mind in the meantime. Many other things might happen, but at this time in the season I admit that I am considering such an option.
“In June I will turn 39 which is a fairly considerable age for a footballer, but I don’t want to think about that problem now.
“I am trying not to think about the renewal and the possibility of retiring. The will to continue doing my job at my best is what allows me to remain at these high levels,” concluded Maldini.
Italy’s most capped player, thanks to his 126 games, is likely to play against AEK Athens in the Champions League this evening.
It's unarguable that Paolo is the biggest living legend in Serie A currently. I hope that he would reconsider his decision because I believe he is still much more capable than most Serie A defenders and his physique, despite his recent injuries, would allow him to continue playing well up to his 50s.
Wittman & Diavolo, what's your reaction to this? I think it would be disturbing for Milan to allow one of their greatest legends to retire on the back of one of their worst Serie A campaign, judging on current forn, over the last decade or so.
Btw, is Billy Costacurta retiring at the end of the season too?