Maldini still looking for more titles

Paolo Maldini has now played in a record eight European Cup finals - and won five - and he's not done yet.

updated: May 25, 2007 15:11 IST
  • Total Shares

Athens, Greece:

Paolo Maldini has now played in a record eight European Cup finals - and won five - and he's not done yet.

"Finishing with this trophy would be nice," Maldini said following AC Milan's 2-1 win over Liverpool on Wednesday. "But I want to play in the (Italian) Supercup, and another Serie A championship, then there is the Intercontinental Cup, which I've lost three times and really want to win this time.

"And then I want to try to win the Champions League again next year. It would be fantastic."

One more European Cup title would let Maldini match Francisco Gento's record of six. He's currently tied with Alfredo Di Stefano and Jose Maria Zarraga, Gento's Real Madrid teammates of the 1950s and 60s.

Maldini has now matched Gento's record of appearing in eight finals.

Despite probable knee surgery after this final and his 39th birthday looming in one month, Maldini intends to play at least one more season.

"It's the fifth victory for me, and still very beautiful," Maldini said.

Maldini's record

Maldini's first final was Milan's 4-0 win over Steaua Bucharest in 1989. Back then, the scorers were Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten.

In 1994, Maldini played his fourth final in Athens, and it was another 4-0 victory, this time over FC Barcelona with two goals from Daniele Massaro and one each from Dejan Savicevic and Marcel Desailly.

"It's difficult to find similarities between Athens today and the Athens of 1994," Maldini said. "What hasn't changed is the city and the fact that there's a great player, Kaka today like Savicevic back then."

Maldini scored his first goal in a final two years ago, giving Milan a 1-0 lead before Liverpool recovered a three-goal deficit and won the Champions League in a shootout.

The total tally for the Maldini family is 10 finals. Maldini's father Cesare won the title with Milan in 1963 but lost in 1958.

"Milan continues to win because it has a different mentality of play _ and life," Maldini said. "It's the only club that retains players over 35 years old. It doesn't evaluate players merely by age."

Maldini also became the oldest non-goalkeeper to appear in a European Cup final.