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Paolo Maldini's 900th official match

Viva Paolo...

Paolo Maldini, At Udine he made his debut, with Liedholm on the bench. Against Udinese at S. Siro, the party for the 20 years in football. Saturday again Udine: Paolo Maldini's 900th official match. Always with the Rossoneri shirt.

Udinese, Udinese, and Udinese. When the big arms of football history embrace Paolo Maldini, here is once again the team from Friuli at the crossroads. It happened on 20 January 1985, the Sunday of the Serie A debut of Cesare's son, with a draw at the Stadio Friuli between Udinese and Milan. It happened on 16 January 2005, in the Sunday where Italian football celebrated the 20 years in football of the Rossoneri captain and former national team captain, with 3-1 victory against Udinese. It will happened again next Saturday, when Paolo Maldini will play his 900th official match with Milan's shirt. Where? At Udine, where else.

Perfect last night against Juventus, judged as one of the best Rossoneri players in the evening match, Paolo Maldini is playing with class and pride. Where the first quality starts and the second begins isn't known, as they are so intertwined. One thing's for sure: Paolo, as always, is at the service of the team. But his real strength is his self-respect. After the important matches he is playing individually, no one will ever say Cesare's son retired too late. Aerial play, runs: Paolo is still there, against anyone, who's next. He is ending his career as a world-class player at 41 years old.

Now it's time to write another piece of history. Where in 1985 there was Selvaggi, and now there is Quagliarella, the great Paolo Maldini achieves an incredible target. In the same stadium as his first official match, when he was worried about his oral test at school the next day, he will play his 900th. Four World Cups later, with a record amount of appearences with the national team, and a palmares with 26 titles (Italian, European, and World) won with his club. A transcendental champion, respected by everyone, Paolo Maldini is a precious good for football at all levels.