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PAOLO MALDINI



BORN:  JUN. 26, 1968
COUNTRY: Italy
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES:  3 tournaments ('90, '94. '98)
CLUB: Milan 

INTRODUCTION: One of the world's finest defenders. 

1990 World Cup - Italy
At 22, Maldini had long been Italy's first choice left-back, protecting the flanks as well as supporting attacks on the left-wing.  The Italian defence, marshalled by Baresi and Maldini, did not concede a goal in the tournament until the semi-final against Argentina, who eliminated them on penalties.  The yound defender played so brilliantly in his first World Cup that many considered him the tournament's best defender, together with Baresi and Andy Brehme.

1994 World Cup - USA
Four years later, Maldini was Italy's key player, along with Roberto Baggio, that led his country to the World Cup final.  After losing Baresi through injury in the second game, Maldini shouldered much of their captain's responsibility.  He switched to central defence and became the dominant personality at the back.


EXCEPTIONAL
Maldini stopped Romario in the 1994 World Cup Final.
Maldini had an exceptional tournament, especially in the final against Brazil.  With Baresi again by his side, the Italian defence proved inpenetratable even to the attack led by Romario and Bebeto.
1998 World Cup - France
Four years later, Maldini captained Italy to his third World Cup.  But he was now stripped of the title "world's greatest left-back" by Brazil's Roberto Carlos.  Maldini had a solid but unspectacular tournament.  The team employed an over-cautious 5-3-2 approach adopted by Cesare Maldini, the father of Paolo.  After the shoot-out defeat by France in the round of 16, Paolo Maldini declared his great disappointment of being eliminated from the knock-out stage in 3 consecutive World Cups.

HIS GOALS IN THE WORLD CUP - COMPLETE RECORD
NO GOALS SCORED
 


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