||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)|
Maldini in 1969
|Full name||Cesare Maldini|
|Date of birth||5 February 1932|
|Place of birth||Trieste, Italy|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|1970–1972||Milan (assistant manager)|
|1980–1986||Italy (assistant manager)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Cesare Maldini (born 5 February 1932) is a football manager and former player with A.C. Milan. A commanding defender, with good technique and an excellent ability to read the game, he was usually deployed as a centre back, or as a sweeper, although he was also capable of functioning as a right-back. At club level, Maldini won 4 Serie A league titles and 1 European Cup with Milan. Internationally, he played for the Italian national team, earning 25 caps and participating in the 1962 World Cup.
Cesare Maldini was born in Trieste, Venezia Giulia, Italy. His son, Paolo, also a defender, once held the record for the most caps for the Italian national team (now third behind Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro). The younger Maldini captained Milan to the UEFA Champions League title in 2003 and 2007. Maldini's grandsons, Christian and Daniel play football in junior teams.
As a player, Maldini won four Serie A league titles and one European Cup with A.C. Milan, a team that he captained for many years. After retiring from playing he became a coach, and he was one of Enzo Bearzot's assistants in the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, which Italy won.
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 protégés Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluigi Buffon and Francesco Totti from the 1996-winning squad went on to win the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
1998 World Cup
Following his successes with the Under-21 side, Maldini took charge of the senior team that qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Italian media and fans had great expectations of the 1998 side, which included a strong defence, and several prolific attacking players, such as Christian Vieri, Alessandro Del Piero and Filippo Inzaghi, among others, in their prime. Cesare Maldini's son, Paolo, was captain of the team.
Italy were drawn in Group B of the tournament with Chile, Cameroon and Austria. They won their group, drawing 2–2 with Chile in their opening game, and then beating Cameroon 3–0 and Austria 2–1. Advancing to the Round of 16, Italy then beat Norway 1–0 to secure a spot in the Quarter-finals against tournament hosts France. After a goalless draw, Italy were eventually eliminated by the eventual champions on penalties.
Maldini resigned after the tournament due to heavy criticism in the Italian media over his allegedly ultra-defensive and "old-fashioned" catenaccio-inspired tactics, which included the use of a traditional man-marking defensive back-line line, as well as a sweeper. He was also condemned for his reluctance to field creative forwards Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero alongside each other in the front-line, opting instead to have one player come on for the other in the second half; these controversial substitutions were compared to those made between Sandro Mazzola and Gianni Rivera by Ferruccio Valcareggi, the Italian manager at the 1970 World Cup.
2002 World Cup
After briefly coaching Milan in 2001, serving as an interim manager for the club, in January 2002, Maldini became coach of Paraguay's national team. 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. He took over the team which had already qualified for the 2002 World Cup hosted by South Korea and Japan, becoming the oldest coach in that 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 managed to advance from Group B to the Round of 16, after a 2–2 draw with South Africa, a 3–1 defeat from Spain, and a 3–1 victory over Slovenia. In the Round of 16, Paraguay were eliminated by the eventual finalists Germany, losing 1–0 courtesy of an 89th-minute goal from Oliver Neuville.
|Total for Milan||347||3||9||0||42||0||14||0||412||3|
*European competitions include the UEFA Champions League & UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
|Italy national team|
- 1992 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship
- 1994 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship
- 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship
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