Paolo Maldini: Video of the AC Milan legend shows just how good he was

Paolo Maldini - the greatest defender of all time?

Who is the greatest defender of all time?

It's a question with no definitive right answer, but a large number of football fans will always side with Paolo Maldini in response.

The Italian legend was a superstar during his 25 seasons as an AC Milan player, thriving as a left-back and then at centre-back later on his career.

Maldini won 25 major trophies during his 901 appearances for the Rossoneri, including five European Cups and seven Serie A titles.

He also finished in third place for the Ballon d'Or in both 1994 and 2003, a pretty sizeable achievement given that the award regularly favours attackers.

Maldini with the CL trophy

Maldini was everything you could wish for in a defender. He was composed on the ball, contributed going forward, was rarely caught out of position and turned tackling into an art form.

The last point there is of vital importance, as it's extremely uncommon for a pragmatic player to make the game look beautiful.

But the now 52-year-old was no ordinary player and that's why he's one of the few centre-backs to have had a video compilation created in his honour.


"Not many defenders get compilation videos. Paolo Maldini gets a compilation video," James Dart's Twitter caption reads and it's very appropriate.

The Italian's tackles were always so clean and precise, although the great man himself famously wasn't happy when he had to perform them, as it meant he had made a mistake.

But due to his supreme footballing intelligence, most notably his ability to read the game, Maldini wasn't often forced to dive in to win the ball.

In fact, he averaged just 0.56 tackles per game during his career with AC Milan, as reported by The Sun.

Maldini in action

Not bad, Paolo.

Virgil van Dijk and Sergio Ramos are probably the two finest defenders of the past 10 years or so, but both pale in comparison to Maldini.

Of course, the Italian's passing range was probably slightly inferior to Van Dijk's and he certainly didn't score as many goals as Ramos.

However, when we're focusing solely on defensive attributes, Maldini is the clear winner, a leader of men that made world-class forwards look decidedly average for over 20 years.

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