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Cesare Maldini (born 5 February 1932 in Triestemarker) is an Italian football coach and former centre half. He played the majority of his career with AC Milan and also represented Italy at international level in the 1962 and 1966 World Cups. His son Paolo, also a defender, co-holds the record for the most caps for the Italian national team. The younger Maldini captained Milan to the Champions League title in 2003, 40 years after Cesare had achieved the same feat. His grandson Christian has continued the family tradition and plays as a defender in the AC Milan youth team.


Maldini was born in Triestemarker, Venezia Giulia, Italymarker. His parents were working class people of Slovene origin whose surname Maldič was Italianized in Maldini in 1931. He grew up in the working class suburb of Servola ( ), and has kept a typical local Triestine accent.

He lifted the European Cup with AC Milan in 1963 as team captain. He served as an assistant coach on the 1982 FIFA World Cup-winning Italian side.

Maldini coached the Italian Under-21 side for ten years, winning the European Under-21 Football Championship on the tournament record of three occasions. Former proteges Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluigi Buffon and Francesco Totti from the 1996-winning squad went on to win the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He was then called up to lead the senior national team, and helped the team qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, captained by his son Paolo. Italy advanced to the quarter-finals where they were eliminated by hosts France on penalties after a scoreless draw. Maldini resigned after the tournament due to media criticism of his ultra-defensive tactics.

Maldini became coach of Paraguay's national team in January 2002. His appointment caused some controversy as domestic managers were overlooked (prompting the managers union to try to unsuccessfully expel him for immigration breaches), and because he spoke little Spanish. Maldini nonetheless had the support of star goalkeeper José Luis Chilavert and several other senior players.[138913] He led the team to qualify for the 2002 World Cup hosted by South Koreamarker and Japanmarker, becoming the oldest coach in the tournament at the age of 70 (His son Paolo captained Italy in the same tournament). Despite missing Chilavert for the first game due to suspension, Paraguay advanced to the knockout round. They were eliminated by eventual finalists Germany by an 89th minute goal.

The experienced coach returned to AC Milan as a scout for young talent for the Rossoneri. He is currently a sports analyst for the Al Jazeera sports channel with Alessandro Altobelli.

His son Paolo Maldini is Italy's joint most capped player alongside Fabio Cannavaro who equalled the record caps during the Confederations Cup 2009 in a match where Italy lost 1-0 to Egypt.



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