AC Milan and Verona were playing out a 1-1 draw at the San Siro on Sunday, it what seemed to be a very ordinary and uneventful game.
Then in the 90th minute, a young player who only turned 18 in October approached the touchline in the famous black and red jersey. He was about to make his debut, and with little time left in the match was not expected to make much of an impact on the game. But it was not only a huge moment for the young debutant and his family, but fans all around Italy and the world were intrigued and excited.
That’s because the name on the back of his shirt was Maldini.
Daniel Maldini is the third generation of his family to play for the Rossoneri. His Dad, Paolo, holds a Serie A record of 647 appearances, winning the league seven times as well as the Champions League five times. His grandfather, Cesare made his debut for AC in 1954 and went on to feature 412 times.
So it’s fair to say the name on the back of the shirt carries some weight, with two club legends now giving way to the third generation.
Paolo Maldini us undoubtedly one of the greatest defenders of all-time, known for his technical ability, sliding tackles and ability to play anywhere across a back four. Cesare Maldini was also a defender, but unlike his dad and grandfather, Daniel is an attacking player. He plays as an attacking midfielder, and it will be interesting to see how he develops when we get to see more of him over the season.
When it comes to having one of the greatest names it’s always tricky to live up to the hype that people create, so for Daniel to be an attacking midfielder will already be a big difference that will set him apart. It will allow him to play without being compared to his dad all the time.
I had the pleasure of meeting Paolo on and of the field, and the first time was on my debut win at the arena vs Milan. And boy o boy was I impressed.
In Miami we met again and I asked if we could get a photo together away from the pitch. I looked at him and almost said, “you know that I have seen so many games of you in Holland.”
Then I thought let’s just take the picture and we talked about life in Miami because of the great food and weather. I am sure Daniel will have some great guidance from his dad and find the answers to a lot of questions that every young pro has when he is on that great journey to the top. #mmlove