Our latest signing session has been held in Italy with Paolo Maldini. Paolo Maldini has been dubbed one of the greatest players of all time by players, coaches and fans across the world. He is one of only a few “one club” players, spending his whole career at AC Milan. After spending 25 seasons with the club he earned 902 caps, won seven Serie A titles, and won the Champions League trophy an incredible five times.
On March 19, 2018 the Italian legend welcomed us into his beautiful home in Milan, where the private signing session took place. The house has beautiful and carefully selected artwork all throughout and the many photos on display only show family and friends, with nothing to do with football.
During the signing the legendary defender talked about the lack of football he can play now due to the severe knee injuries he has acquired over the years, but he is throwing his enthusiasm into another sport: Tennis. Paolo had played tennis as a child, but stopped playing as much when his football career started. He has now taken on the sport professionally and played his first pro game in June 2017. After discussing further injuries during his playing time (which included multiple finger breaks from catching them in players shirts) he discussed his opinions of this year’s Champions League final. Paolo believes that Manchester City are the ones to beat for this year’s title, but with reigning Champions Real Madrid still in the race it will be a tough feat.
While signing the Champions League photo showing him scoring after just 52 seconds in the 2005 UCL final against Liverpool, he mentioned that the moment was “very bittersweet” as he dreamed of scoring in such an event but unfortunately the moment became one to forget after the eventual defeat. It was claimed that the Milan players were already celebrating the win at halftime, but Paolo dismissed this saying that while the players were pumped up they were told to remain calm and continue to play with the same attitude they had in the first half. He took his revenge two years later when Milan beat Liverpool 2-1 in the 2007 Champions League Final and lifted the trophy for the 5th time in his career.
Paolo signed a range of official Italy shirts which he had worn during his impressive 14-year international career for his country, starting in 1988 and ending in 2002. During his time playing for Azzuri, Paolo played in three European Championships and four World Cups. Even though Italy have not qualified for the 2018 World Cup, the first time since 1958, Paolo will be heading over to Russia to watch the games and attend events associated with the competition.
The signing session lasted about an hour and a half in total. Paolo was in great spirits throughout, happily taking photos with the team and dedicating shirts to a few very lucky customers. The whole Paolo Maldini signed collection is available now.