Daniel Maldini, the glory of my father, the pride of my grandfather


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Like the Gudjohnsen family in Iceland, the Maldini family have a prominent place in Italian football and more particularly in Milan. Died a little over five years ago, the grandfather Cesare Maldini shone as a defender whether in Trieste or Torino, but especially at AC Milan where he will have played 398 matches (3 goals) between 1954 and 1966. He notably won the first of the seven Rossoneri Champions Leagues in 1963. After becoming a coach, he led AC Milan for one year and also the Italian selection between 1996 and 1998 with his son in his ranks. A defender like his father capable of playing central as a full-back, Paolo Maldini is currently the sporting director of the Lombard club and remains to this day the most capped player in the history of AC Milan. Starting at 17 in 1985, he will play 902 matches (33 goals) with Diavolo until his retirement in 2009. Also caped 126 times (7 goals) between 1988 and 2002 with Italy, he is one of the best defenders in history. Long as the arm, his record is notably composed of 5 Champions Leagues (1989, 1990, 1994, 2003 and 2007) and 7 Serie A (1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2004). A heavy legacy for the young Daniel Maldini whose brother Christian (25) who is a central defender at Pro Sesto in Serie C has failed to assume. The mission promises to be difficult, but the attacking midfielder is on the right track.

After completing his different age groups at AC Milan, Daniel Maldini slowly joined the professional group. Also able to evolve as a winger, the one who is Italian international U20 (2 capes) starts for the first time in professional just before the Covid-19 pandemic with an entry in the last seconds against Hellas Verona (1-1) . Playing very little last season with the first team (9 appearances), he will experience an injury that will end his season early in February. The situation has nevertheless changed for this 2021-2022 fiscal year. Hakan Çalhanoğlu’s departure means that he is now in competition with Junior Messias (30) behind the incumbent as playmaker, Brahim Díaz. Brilliant, the 22-year-old Spanish player has ideally started the year with 4 goals and 1 assist in 7 matches. If it will be difficult to seek a starting place, Daniel Maldini has the place to get playing time. With entries against Cagliari, Juventus and even in the Champions League against Liverpool, he finally had his first start in the Serie A (he had 3 in the Europa League) against La Spezia this Saturday. Returning from the locker room when the score was still a goalless draw, he scored his very first goal following a pass from Pierre Kalulu and participated in the 2-1 victory for the current Serie A leader. 13 years and 179 days after the last goal of his father Paolo (2008) and 60 years and 22 days after the last goal of his grandfather Cesare (1961), Daniele Maldini has scored with AC Milan.

A historic achievement

Proud of his performance, Daniel Maldini struggled to achieve what he achieved after the meeting: “An indescribable emotion, I have not yet understood what happened. My debut was a dream, it was a goal I set for myself, now we hope to continue like this. I felt a strong emotion, but my father reassures me. «  Proud of the performance of his player, Stefano Pioli congratulated him while pointing out some things to correct: “He has technique, talent and knows how to get involved. He can do more by standing out on his own. Today Bourabia took care of him closely, it was enough to move away a few meters to have more time to play his game. This may give us satisfaction in the future. «  A festive Saturday for the young Maldini who continues to take the stages at high speed. And this did not fail to feed the Italian press. On its one with the famous pink pages, The Gazzetta dello Sport had titled this: “Maldini forever. Double celebration for Milan. Daniel scores and Pioli is in the lead again. « 

For its part, the Corriere dello Sport preferred to make the late Cesare Maldini a man with this title: « The grandson of the devil has struck ». Tuttosport also highlights the « Maldynasty »: « Daniele Maldini walks in the footsteps of his grandfather Cesare and his father Paolo » while the Daily Sportivo maintain this dream feeling with « The fairy tale Maldini. «  Former AC Milan glories such as Franco Baresi, Demetrio Albertini, Andriy Shevchenko or Clarence Seedorf also congratulated him on social networks. A media madness which the young and technical attacking midfielder will have to digest. Used to great pressure from a young age, he will not be too destabilized. In any case, his coach Stefano Pioli wanted to temper things at a press conference by evoking the following Sunday this goal from Daniel Maldini: “It was a normal day. We did a recovery job, overcoming two important and difficult games. «  If this is the bench on which he is heading this Tuesday for the Champions League clash against Atlético de Madrid, Daniel Maldini could have his chance again. Anyway, this season marks the one of affirmation for the young son of Paolo Maldini. Cesare Maldini must be particularly proud of his descendants.


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