“Being an Italian goalkeeper is the easiest job in Europe”
It was the legendary sentence Nike used when collaborating with Paolo Maldini.
Apparently, it doesn’t seem to be a difficult thing to acknowledge the expression. All football fans must know a player named Paolo Maldini. He is one of the best defender ever possessed by AC Milan and the Italian national team. The football world also recognizes the greatness of this curly-haired player. No wonder many people praise their quality.
Paolo Maldini is a green field artist who has passed several generations for more than two decades when choosing to hang shoes in 2009. Some of his prestigious trophies and high dedication that he showed successfully made him one of the best sons of football of all time. No wonder that the former classmate manager Sir Alex Ferguson called this man as his favorite player of the opposing team which his team was ever faced when coaching Manchester United. Maldini, with all the history he made, even has his right to leave the green field with his pride.
“I watched Milan’s match against Bayern and Maldini played 90 minutes without tackling. It was an art and he was its ruler. He’s a great player. You cannot ignore the experience he has,”
Physical strength, ideal balance, adequate speed, and his intelligence of reading the game above the average become a successful determining factor of him to play the role of the team’s defense wall. Maldini is indeed a formidable defender who is not easily crossed by opponents. For opposing players who had tried to attack AC Milan or the Italian national team from the left side of the defense, he had to be prepared to face a mess from Paolo Maldini.
The Star sports columnist, Cathal Kelly, said,
“When a young striker runs towards the goal and then sees Maldini standing in front of him, he will be nervous by himself, and may choose to pass the ball to his partner.”
The strength and charisma of Paolo Maldini have succeeded in making the caliber defender, Carles Puyol, melt. This defender of Barcelona, as well as Spanish national team legend, even made Maldini his role model in managing the ball.
Other greatness in maintaining defense was shown by his leadership while playing on the green field. Maldini, who is the captain of AC Milan and the Italian national team, successfully set the team’s defense barricade into a perfect colony to dispel enemy attacks.
Maldini really understands the philosophy in defense. His quality is also recognized by Brazilian football legend, Luiz Nazario Ronaldo Da Lima. He revealed that Maldini had the right to get the best player award, not even once, but several times.
“Honestly, the defensive defender that is difficult for me to face is Paolo Maldini. With the quality he has, I think he has the right to get the award as the world’s best player. Not just once, in my opinion, but several times, he deserves to achieve it,”
Maldini is a symbol of a beautiful defense in football. He is not the type of defender who often makes tackles to stop opponents. He has the ability to do it, but when his execution is almost always perfect, he prefers to leave the opponent in a state of confusion rather than pain. When in a one on one situation, Maldini seemed to be one step ahead of his opponent. He will calmly follow the opponent’s movements and guess where they will kick before the ball is successfully returned. Maldini is a person who anticipates problems, and if he fails to anticipate them, he will gracefully overcome them.
This player who was attached to the number 3 successfully impressed other footballers. A high leadership spirit and unusual skills which he possessed made Maldini deserves to be a role model.
Paolo Maldini is a real example of a defender who can be the great defender without doing any violence. He only needs to prevent opponents from scoring goals in a dignified manner.