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Paolo Maldini (born June 26, 1968) is an Italian football player.

Born in Milan, he is the son of Cesare Maldini, former player of A.C. Milan and ex-coach of the Italian football national team. Paolo Maldini plays as a defender and predominantly plays the position of left back (even though he is naturally right footed), although he sometimes plays at centre back. Throughout his long career, he has remained a one club man with A.C. Milan, where he holds the current captaincy, and has currently made more appearances for the club (as well as any player in Serie A) after having passed Franco Baresi's record of 512. He was originally a center defender but then moved to be a left back.

Maldini is generally regarded as one of the greatest defenders of his generation, and arguably the best left back of all time. He is well known for his influential captaincy, ice-cool temperament and flawless defending. He is still playing at the very highest level, which is confirmed by his inclusion in the FIFPro World XI in 2005, his nomination to the UEFA Champions League 2004-2005 most valuable defender title, second place in Golden Foot nominations in 2005, and a top-ten finish in the voting for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year.

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Maldini: AC Milan players excited by Ronaldo arrival

AC Milan veteran Paolo Maldini says Ronaldo is sure to add to coach Carlo Ancelotti's team this season.

Real Madrid striker Ronaldo flew to Milan on Thursday and even had time to watch the Coppa Italia match with Roma before a day on Friday that was dedicated to medical tests and meetings.

After Ronaldo arrived at Milan's Milanello training camp at Carnago near Lake Como, Maldini said: "We said hello to each other and I hope we see each other again in the next few days.

"Up until now Ronaldo has had a very good effect on me. I have always wanted to play with him.

"He is a champion and a courageous player. He is the best player I have played against since (Diego) Maradona, an opponent who is always fair and correct."

Ronaldo had lunch with Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti at Milanello and was due for medical tests in the afternoon.

His arrival at the complex was greeted by fans who had gathered outside the gates of the training base.

Maldini believes the arrival of the former Cruzeiro, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and Internazionale player will give the club a shot in the arm.

"With the arrival of Ronaldo we have taken a great leap in quality," he told the club's official website.

"He is still one of the best players in the world and a player who has extraordinary gifts."

"It's a change but he is a very courageous player," added Maldini who marked Ronaldo many times in city derbies during the Brazilian's Inter days.

"Besides his technical value his signing will give a boost in confidence to the Rossoneri camp."

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A TRUE CAPTAIN

Paolo Maldini demonstrated his love for the game as he spoke about the future of Italian football

The captain spoke on the margins of a press conference for the Sweet Hits musical compilation CD, which is made up of songs that he and Christian Vieri selected together. Just two days after declaring that he is feeling good physically and that he hopes to play football for another year, captain Paolo Maldini once again demonstrated his fondness for the sport: 'Playing without the fans would be an absurd solution. I would prefer to stop for a week longer because playing behind closed doors would be the death of the game, although it is clear that those that have erred must be punished. The halt of the league and the national side were strong signals. From now on there will be a zero tolerance policy.'

He continued: 'This problem goes beyond football, it is a social problem. What happened occurred outside the stadium and it was a premeditated attack against the police. Adopting a mixture of the English and American models could be a good approach. The English have strict laws and, above all, they are enforced. The American model brings more families to the concerts and games. Often the tensions are not just tied to the game, but to a general social unease. In Italy there's a different culture surrounding sports, a loss is never accepted, while in England they applaud even when a team is relegated.'

For Maldini and many other players this was an unusual Sunday: 'It was a sad day and, on top of everything else, my son could have played in his derby. It is a player's duty to try and transmit sportsmanship and moral character. Our attitude on the field counts and when it's positive that's all the better.'

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