Even though he broke the tradition of playing as a defender, Daniel Maldini keeps his family’s legacy alive after making his debut with AC Milan.
We’ve already spoke about the legend that Paolo was in Serie A, but we haven’t exactly discussed the tradition that he represents in one of Italy’s most famous football families.
You see, Maldini was the second of his name in AC Milan. His father Cesare was also a defender at the same club, he was also very successful in his own right during his years as a professional.
When Paolo started playing football in the mid-’80s, he was already showing signs of a position similar to the one his father played.
The difference between the two was that Paolo loved going forward on the attack, so he became a full-back with impressive defensive capabilities.
It’s no use talking any more about the impressive career that Paolo had as a player, the man lived through three different generations at AC Milan and he was important in all of them.
When he retired from the club, they decided to retire his mythical number ‘3’ as they did with his father until a new Maldini came forward to play with the Rossoneri.
That day is finally here, Daniel Maldini is finally old enough to play for his family’s club.
The 51-year-old Maldini is currently technical director of the northern Italian side, who are currently struggling 13th in the league.
The new Maldini is very different.
One would’ve thought that given the defensive tradition his father Paolo and grandfather Cesare brought to the club, Daniel would at least follow their footsteps.
However, we have a misfit in our hands who doesn’t like playing defense as much as he does scoring goals or setting them up.
In fact, the young Maldini plays a very unusual position for an Italian. There aren’t many great playmakers in his country’s history, we can only think of three right now who actually come to mind.
The first one was Roberto Baggio, who is arguably the best of them all and took Italy to the World Cup final back in 1994.
Another great playmaker in Italian football is Alessandro del Piero, who actually became a World Cup champion in 1996 and took Baggio’s place in Juventus back in the ’90s.
The last one is Francesco Totti, who is a bonified AS Roma legend and arguably one of the most faithful players who ever lived.
All these three playmakers were great in their own right, Daniel Maldini has a lot of work to do if he wants to reach those standards.
We can already tell you that he at least has the pedigree aspect nailed to the ground with his name, but that won’t be enough.
Maldini’s debut was last week.
If a player bearing the Maldini name was to make his debut with AC Milan, it had to be during a match against a big club.
The Rossoneri played against Bayern Munich last week and this was the ideal moment for him to make his appearance.
He wasn’t wearing his father’s number ‘3’ jersey because this is only his debut, young Daniel played with the number ’98’ shirt against Bayern.
Initially, he appeared to be extremely nervous with his first touches of the ball. As soon as he got a little more rhythm, Daniel started playing his own football and his quality with the ball was quite evident.
This is a very different Maldini than the ones we remember, it appears the third generation has veered away from what we all knew from this family.
It is still very soon to tell if young Daniel will be any good with AC Milan, but he can at least say that he made the family name proud by making his debut with the senior squad.
Both his father and his grandfather must be very proud of him, but they must also be very nervous for what he may or may not do.
We can only imagine the level of pressure he must feel being a Maldini and all, but we hope he can handle it.