Skip to main content

Maldini at 50



The legendary Paolo Maldini turned 50 last Tuesday. Although he retired from football in 2009, he still manages to keep busy with new adventures. But his birthday was also a chance to reflect on that incredible football career, as well as his life in general. He answered 50 questions from La Gazzetta dello Sport, and RossoneriBlog kindly translated them into English for us. If you click any link on this blog ever, please click that one and read every answer, you won’t be disappointed.

He doesn't look a day over legendary

Here is just a taste of that epic interview:

Who was my main rival? Myself: every day in training I raised the bar and that challenge stimulated me.

There are few players who rivalled his talent on the pitch. But there are even fewer who rival him as a man: a devoted son, husband, father and a man of conviction and integrity. Reading all of his answers, and hearing what his former teammates had to say about him in not just one, not just two, but three birthday videos put out by AC Milan, it is more clear than ever why he is so beloved and respected.

Married for over 24 years

This interview also served as a painful reminder for Milan fans of his lack of involvement in the club since his retirement. Not just in this management, though, but remember that he was also frozen out because of some spat with Galliani. The one time he was nearest to Milan again was when Galliani resigned… for a day. And while reported possible changes in ownership and/or management now could pave the way for Maldini to finally come home, one gets the sense that football is just too corrupt for a man of such strong principles and values. Certainly his values were too much for the Curva Sud, who blemished our club forever with their displays against him during his final match and goodbye.

Miami is not just a holiday destination anymore

Consequently, if a person is frozen out of the club of their life, what do they do after retirement? The question really should be what hasn’t Maldini done? He of course had a clothing company called “Sweet Life” with his old friend Bobo Vieri, and continues to invest in real estate here in the United States with Vieri and other friends. He was inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame and given other elite awards such as being one of four people to be honored with the “One Club Man Award” and also the Premio Nils Liedholm Award, as well as many others. The Liedholm Award, given to the “champion on the field, gentleman in life,” likely has significant value to him, having been coached by the man it was created in memory of.
 
Still being recognized for a career that is sadly over

But there is so much more. Maldini is also the co-owner of Miami FC in the North American Soccer League. He is raising two footballers of his own. Christian, age 22, plays for Serie D side Racing Fondi in Livorno. Daniel, age 16, plays for Milan’s U17 side. He has played in numerous charity matches, including Pirlo’s recent “Notte del Maestro” testimonial match. And as if that wasn’t enough, Paolo has also taken up doubles tennis at an age most men are taking up competitive napping. He has qualified and played in at least two ATP tournaments so far.

A new sport, he never stops learning

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Maldini at 50 is no less amazing than he was during his playing career. And while it is that amazing playing career, that incredible talent and years as our beloved captain that I think of when I hear his name, we haven’t heard the last of him yet. Whether or not he will ever find his way into a position at Milan or for the Italian National Team, where he still holds the record for the most minutes played in the World Cup of any player in the world, remains to be seen. But his sage advice and pearls of wisdom are never far from Milan. And at 50, he is also never far from our hearts.


This post inspired by the music of U2’s “One”