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5 months ago

Paolo Maldini snubs Cristiano Ronaldo as he names the three greatest players he’s ever seen

Former AC Milan and Italy defender Paolo Maldini snubbed Cristiano Ronaldo when naming the best players he’d even seen during his trophy-laden 25 year career.

Maldini, who is widely regarded as one of the best defenders of all time, made 902 appearances for boyhood club AC Milan before retiring in 2009.

In that time, the Italian came up against some of the greats, including Ronaldinho and Ronaldo Nazario, who both named Maldini as the toughest defender they faced throughout their careers.

Ronaldinho said he was blown away by how the defender “made it all look effortless” while former Milan teammate Ronaldo echoed those thoughts.

In fact, during a recent documentary based on Ronaldo titled ‘The Phenomenon’, Maldini named the former Brazil striker as one of the three greatest player he seen during his career.

As well as Nazario, the former Italy captain named Argentine pair Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona in his list.

It must be noted that Maldini never came up against former Barcelona forward Messi during his playing days but the Argentine clearly made an impact as he watched from the sidelines.

In a separate interview, he said: “First of all, I have had the chance to play against great, great players and I think the best ones were, of course, [Diego] Maradona when he played for Napoli and Ronaldo when he played for Inter.”

He added: “I didn’t play against Messi because he was injured, thank God he was injured.”

A reporter then pointed out that Messi was lucky to have never come up against Maldini, who replied: “No, no, I was lucky.”

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Maldini would later try and lure Messi to the San Siro in 2020, when he was AC Milan’s technical director, although his efforts were in vain.

“When I read that Messi could go to Inter, I was furious,” he told the PoretCast podcast.

“For 10 days I tried to bring him to Milan, but then we realized that it was impossible. I think a player like him is a show for everyone, even if it’s late. This man is capable of doing things that always surprise.”