The Five Billion Person Party

Notes of a wandering American soccer fan

Maldini hits 1000

Posted by steigs on February 20, 2008

As I Dislike Your Favorite Team reminded me, Paulo Maldini just played game number 1000.  I missed the Parma game this weekend when he hit the mark but Big Blue Monkey reports:

I watched his 1000th game against Parma, and the game undeniably changed when he stepped on the pitch as a second half substitute. There was Maldini, making overlapping runs, and serving dangerous crosses into the box. By all rights, he should have had two assists in his 15 minutes of play.

Sure, he’s been one of the all-time great defenders.  As if that weren’t enough, he’s also looks like he should be on the cover of a romance novel.  I, for one, have heard my wife sigh about his “eyes” on more than one occasion as we watch AC Milan.  Hence his featured role in AC Milan’s recent calendar with Dolce & Gabbana.  Like this one.  The story goes that when Giorgio Armani visited the 1994 Italian World Cup team, as part of providing their travelling suits, he proclaimed that he’d love to have Maldini on the runway for his collections.

Maldini reportedly has a home in Miami but, aside from the fact that Miami no longer has an MLS team, don’t get your hopes about him doing a cameo desginated player year or two over here as some Italian Beckham.  He’s a one club guy — AC Milan from his teenage playing days until his upcoming retirement.

All the more reason I consider myself lucky to have seen him play in person back in late 2000 at the San Siro, during a Champions League match-up with Galatasaray.   Here’s what I wrote about it back then.  Watch him while you can!

As the second half wears on, I become fascinated with the play of the AC Milan left back, Paulo Maldini, who is positioned directly in front of me.  Maldini is a legend, a regular on the Italian national team for more than a decade, often described as the best at his position in the world.  It seems to me that Galatasaray should simply give up attacking on Maldini=s side of the field, the way NFL teams sometimes don=t throw passes in the direction of all-star cornerbacks.  They cannot get the ball past him.  If a player dribbles forward towards him, Maldini deftly takes it from him.  If they try a pass in his area, then he intercepts it.  As if such peerless defensive technique is not enough, Maldini is graceful with ball too.  At one point he brings it upfield, fakes out two Galatasaray players with ease, before making a long pass to a forward.  Late in the first half he had bounced a shot off the bar.

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One Response to “Maldini hits 1000”

  1. […] The Five Billion Person Party wrote an interesting post today on Maldini hits 1000Here’s a quick excerpt It seems to me that Galatasaray should simply give up attacking on Maldini=s side of the field, the way NFL teams sometimes don=t throw passes in the direction o f all-star cornerbacks…. […]

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