After 25 years of loyal service to just one club, Paulo Maldini will play his last match at the San Siro for the rest of his professional career.

His list of winnings in the form of scudettos, super cups and what not is not as impressive as what his struggle has been his whole life.

His father, captained AC Milan to European Glory and many would have thought at the time that no one would be able to top him. Enter Paulo Maldini some 20 years on and playing for the Italian National First Team at an age of 16.

For the opulence and great fame that Paulo’s father brought to the table, Maldini could have easily basked in the lime light and managed to get places in his career he didn’t deserve by riding on his fathers coat tails. While Shawn Wright-Phillips is a poor parallel it just goes to show, that sometimes it can be really tough to surpass your old man especially if he was a legend.

What do you take away from 25 years of Maldini’s career and countless firsts not to mention records no other player will be able to break for a long time to come in terms of silverware and appearences. Paulo Maldini is a combination of Brett Farve in terms of his resilliance and resistance to injury and David Robinson in terms of his ability but humble nature. A modern day gladitaor. Back to it, what I take away from his career is his ability to rise above being just another punk who thinks hes God because he is talented. His comment on his son in the AC Milan Youth team says it all, when asked

“Are you hopeful your son will play the same position for AC Milan in the future and wear the now reserved ‘3’ jersey? Are you developing his talent?”

he responded:

“I’m not really concerned with the development of his football at this young stage. If he wants to play for Milan I will support him, for right now I want him to focus on being a good person and the value of his emotions, so that he lives a happy childhood. Football can come later”.

Sunday will mark the end of his home games.

Paulo,

I can safely say that The Offside Trap’s entire team wish you the best for your families future and your sons development but most importantly their health. Your attitude, technique and inspiration have been an outlet for people to forget their troubles for minutes and hours on end not just in Italy but all over the world, a certain kind of therapy that only you can provide. A genuine attempt at perfection in life and football, never mixing the order of the two and always reminding us that part of being great is being humble.

Forza, Milano!
Super Pippo

p.s. Please score a goal against Roma.
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Post Match Update:

I would like to say that the only winner in Milan’s 2 – 3 loss to Roma was poor officiating or whoever is still manipulating matches in Serie A. Apparently nothing less than machine gun fire at point blank range warrants a penalty anymore and throwing elbows to a players face in the box is Kosher. I thought I was watching the Bundesliga. Good team movement and spirit. Good come back and just horrible horrible work by the referee. Three penalties not given.

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