AC Milan defender Maldini plans to retire
Maldini has played record 126 games for Italy, 64 as captain, before stopping after the 2002 World Cup.india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 21:13 IST
AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini still plans to retire at the end of the season after more than 22 years of playing professional soccer.
Maldini has won 23 trophies with Milan, including seven Serie A and four Champions League titles. He played record 126 games for Italy, 64 as captain, before stopping after the 2002 World Cup.
"At this moment in time, the idea is to stop in June, but I could change my mind," Maldini told Milan's TV channel. "Everything is going well for now; I'm playing with continuity and that was what I had in mind at the beginning of the season - but I'll be 39 in June."
Maldini has played 11 games for Milan this season after undergoing knee surgery in the off season.
I "can't imagine another season like this. My knees are giving me trouble," Maldini said in Tuesday's edition of La Stampa. The Milan captain, whose contract expires in 2007, had previously said he would only retire when he'd played 1000 games for Milan. He has played 829 since his debut on January 20, 1985 as a 16 year old. "Now is not the time to assess the problem," Maldini said. "What is allowing me to stay at a high level is the thought of doing my own job, giving my maximum, having a lot of desire and will."