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Old 27-02-2005, 14:31   #81
Passion for *9*
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Originally Posted by logan
But to see Paolo retire ll leave me in tears...
I cannt even imagine what it would be like without him.
Just hope he ll quit on top. But still i think it's toooooooooooooooooooo early to think abt that.
Well, he is under no obligation to please you with his decisions The kind of attachment people seem to develop for a football player is honestly beyond me. If Pippo has to quit I certainly won't cry around. It's life + football is supposed to be an entertaining part of it. Save the tears for the serious shit.


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Old 27-02-2005, 14:39   #82
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Originally Posted by cuore
passion, your words are like knives to the heart...
Take it like a man, cuore

Would you want to see him making blunders over blunders cos age has caught up with him ? I'm not so masochistically inclined, sorry... A player has to realize when the time is right to hang up his boots + I'm sure Maldini doesn't need my advice + he will do what is right for him at the right time


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Old 27-02-2005, 23:45   #83
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i think maldini will atleast play for another good 3 to 4 years (im being very practical here considering the fact im a huge maldini fan, ask menon?)

and the main reason why he is still going strong is because of his level of awarness + unmatchable experience
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Old 01-03-2005, 16:07   #84
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Originally Posted by logan
why in the hell ppl here are so keen abt Paolo's retirement?

It's not keen... I'm just waiting to see that final match, it will be great, no matter if is next season or the next to that. Paolo deserves to have a life beyond football and just as he did with the azzurri, he'll know the exact time when it's right to retire from Milan.

And it's not that we're being attached to a player in particular but he's so great that it'll be a shame when he doesn't play anymore, the same that happened with other great players that we would love to see them still playing. And I think you're being as keen as us with this

Why does you guys bother so much that we talk about it? maybe no one will remember Paolo 200 years from now, but we'll do as soon as we live because he gave a lot to the team. He's been a great and true leader.
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Old 02-03-2005, 09:49   #85
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Originally Posted by logan
But to see Paolo retire ll leave me in tears...
I cannt even imagine what it would be like without him.
Just hope he ll quit on top. But still i think it's toooooooooooooooooooo early to think abt that.
I cant see a Milan team without Paolo in it


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Old 02-03-2005, 09:52   #86
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Originally Posted by crazy4milan
Indeed you have a crazy hope!!!!!!!(specially with the Euro thing) , but we are all allowed to dream, so don't worry.
It would be cool to see him winning something with NT, but if we want him for a longer period, then it's better he doesn't play.
Indeed his international retirement has brought us great successes over the past 2 seasons... he had the opportunity to conentrate on Milan where is heart lies... its just disappointing to see him not win a trophy at international level he got so close on many occassions just to fall short, well i guess thats football


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Old 02-03-2005, 09:53   #87
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Originally Posted by Passion for *9*
He's getting older I thought. Sooner or later experience can't compensate an aging body anymore. Better get used to the fact, he will play forever + be a regular starter at 40 ONLY IN YOUR DREAMS. And don't you think he actually DESERVES a life beyond football ?
When Paolo decides to retire thats when he will contemplate life after football


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Old 02-03-2005, 09:59   #88
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Originally Posted by takahan
I agree with Passion,
I will feel happy for Maldini if he retired now.
I would hate to see legendary players like him sitting on the bench just because he is too old.
Is better to retire at a time when you are at your peak and be remembered, rather as retire as an old forgetten bench player.
True but that doesnt matter, anyone who has witnessed Paolo play knows he is a Legend no matter what. His professionalism and passion for the game has made him a true embassidor of the world game. It shouldnt be about retiring when your on top. Everytime a player graces the field they feel a great desire to continue on playing. When they decide their body cant take it or they lose passion then they will choose to retire, for Paolo he is one of a kind... never seen a player that can play at that level for 20+ seasons


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Old 02-03-2005, 16:09   #89
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mmmmmmmmmm maldini gives enough to milan


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Old 02-03-2005, 16:12   #90
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Old 02-03-2005, 16:21   #91
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the time of maldini retainment will coem soon;(


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Old 15-03-2005, 21:42   #92
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This is now the Official: Paolo Maldini Thread
- Seamus -


23/02/05
Made in Milan

By Kevin Buckley
IN 1984 Michel Platini won the European Championship with France, Kaká was just two years old, and Bob Geldof had never even thought of Live Aid.


Meanwhile in northern Italy, a carefree 15-year-old schoolboy with a shock of thick, dark hair was doing what thousands of other Milanese teenagers did, riding the metro with his school rucksack, going for a pizza, and shopping at Esselunga supermarket.

In January 1985, that teenager strode out onto the San Siro turf against Udinese and his life changed forever. Three years after first brushing shoulders with the likes of granite-faced Milan team-mate Franco Baresi, the precocious newcomer was already slipping on the irresistible blue of Italy's national team shirt.

Paolo Maldini would proudly wear that prestigious colour a record 126 times, gaining more caps than even his old tutor, Baresi, as well as lifting the very highest club honours in the red and black of Milan.





That Milanese teenager is now a 36-year-old father of two. Looking back at that debut, he reminisces: "At 15 I had a normal life. Suddenly, I went from Esselunga to the San Siro!"

He laughs. "Just after reaching 16 I was straight into the first team. It was all so quick I never even had time to think about it, how it happened."

It is a muggy autumn afternoon not far from the Swiss border. Faint sunshine struggles through an overcast sky at Milanello, AC Milan's inner sanctum.

Here players train, eat, often sleep, protected from the outside world behind electronic gates and uniformed armed guards. Maldini relaxes on the wooden bench overlooking the gentle hillside sloping down from the players' living quarters. The lank dark hair is freshly cropped.

The languid style suggests a lead singer between gigs, but the lean torso, tree-trunk thighs and three-inch horizontal scar just above the right knee say otherwise.

Reaching the top is one thing, but how on earth has 'il Capitano' stayed there for so long? "It's a series of things," he says with the modesty of those comfortable at the very top of their profession. "I was born in Milan. For a start, for a Milanese to play for Milan is an unusual thing."

Maldini has always lived in the city, his white stucco mansion on the west of Milan just a 15-minute drive from San Siro.

"My father had an important history with the club. I've won the Champions League, as captain, and my father too had won the European Cup, as captain. It's a story weaving inside the story. It's almost like a novel."

Having a famous footballing father was tough on the adolescent Maldini. "Oh yes, people's nastiness knows no bounds," he admits.

"I'd always try to block my ears. I knew my father was a footballer but at 10 years old I couldn't understand how big he had been. I used to play on the little pitches on the outskirts of Milan and I'd hear people insulting me, calling my father a so-and-so Milanista."

Paolo was Milan's youngest ever debutant. "I had to show straight away that I wasn't here because of the surname," he says. Debuts for the Italian under-21s at 17 and the senior side at just 18 were firmly on merit. "They criticised my father when he called me up for the under-21s.

"Sometimes the things they say aren't even very intelligent."

He has been coached by father Cesare at club and international level. Italian coaches are respectfully referred to as 'il Mister' a result of the English influence on the Italian game's founding fathers so when the Maldini career paths crossed, how did he address his father in training? "Papa. How could I call him 'Mister'?

"It's ridiculous," he says, dismissively. How do you handle having your father as coach? "By being fortunate enough to have a good relationship with your father.

"But also by not being afraid of what we had to do." Early on, there was some "sense of embarrassment, mainly on my part," he concedes, but adds, "if they choose him as national team coach and I am captain of the national team, reaching the World Cup, what should we be afraid of?"

Interestingly, family get-togethers with father and son never revolved around football. "No, no," he says. "We rarely talked about football, especially at home.

"We'd had enough football." In our conversations, 'switching off' from football is a recurring theme. He applies the same policy of not mentioning the game at dinners in his house.

He may play for passion rather than profit "after 20 years I don't need to, financially" but he is also the consummate company man, acutely aware of his role as the public face of one of the biggest brands in sport.

The corporate antennae are rarely switched off and the flashing telegenic smile well practiced. But dealing with the media is not his favourite pastime.

"I haven't read La Gazzetta [dello Sport] for about 15 years," he says. But as he warms to our conversation, something different to "the standard interview when there is not really much to say", the characteristic, soft, staccato laugh becomes more genuine.

The ups and downs in his career are pretty well known. Winning European Cups and Scudettos galore, losing the World Cup on penalties, missing the European Championship by 43 seconds. But has football ever made him cry?

"Hmm," he says, turning away and looking into the distance. Five, long, silent seconds later he announces, "No, as a professional, no." Then he admits, "I did once. I was eight. My mum was furious!" he says. "Because I'd cried just because I'd lost."

Signora Maldini's scolding must have been withering. Her son's bottom lip never trembled again, even though Italy's hardman, Franco Baresi, famously wept after the 1994 World Cup final penalty shoot-out defeat to Brazil.

"They're horrible moments for anyone. But my character makes it almost easier for me to handle such a negative emotion in that I know I've given everything, so I can complain about the result, but not that I could have done more. It's as though it's harder for me to talk about a victory than it is a defeat."

Neither triumph nor disaster seems to affect Maldini's appetite for the game or for work. Milan's tireless midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, tipped as eventual heir to the captain's armband, says: "The thing that amazes me is when I see Paolo in training. After 20 years with Milan, at this level, he still has the same passion.

"I envy him. You know, sometimes you don't want to go to training, you don't feel so good. Maybe you are tempted to invent a cold or a niggle or something. But Paolo? No, never. He is a true leader. Not by raising his voice or shouting at people. Off the pitch too, he never seems angry."

Maldini's on-field persona the unsmiling arch competitor totally absorbed in his task can easily appear arrogant. But in private he isn't. What he is, is a professional, aware of what he has achieved, proud of it, but always ready to credit his team-mates and his club.

"No, absolutely, he isn't arrogant," agrees friend Demetrio Albertini, a team-mate for club and country, now at Atalanta. The adjective most frequently used is 'equilibrato'. Balanced. Not always easy to achieve in the frenetic world of Italian football. "It is his way of living," says Gattuso, simply.

Maldini says, "It depends a lot upon you yourself. I'm a household name despite myself. If it were up to me, off the pitch I wouldn't even be seen." Indeed, one-to-one interviews such as this are as rare as a Maldini red card only three in a Serie A career approaching 550 appearances.

"The two or three TV appearances I've done, I did, I don't know, five years ago," he says. "Once training is over, the match is finished, I think of my family, my things."

He is married to Adriana, a Venezuelan former model, with whom he has two children, Christian, eight, and three-year-old Daniel. "It's a way of making things last longer.

"If you go home and you only think of football it consumes you much more quickly."

Handling the modern football lifestyle opens a discussion of the recent antics of Roma's troubled stars, Francesco Totti, banned for spitting at Euro 2004, and 'enfant terrible' Antonio Cassano, who has clashed with coaches and officials.

"It's easier for a player who is too pampered, who is allowed to do anything, to make mistakes. It's more likely he starts living outside reality, the whole environment," says Maldini, careful to underline the fact that he is speaking generally.

But don't the public and media exert intolerable pressure on a player? "No, it's not intolerable. There arrives a certain point in life where a player can't continue always being regarded as a lad of 18. For me, it's a question of responsibility. It's a question of growing up. I'm speaking of life, not just football."

From a Serie A diplomat like Maldini, this is as close as it gets to scathing criticism.

"About Roma I'm speaking as an outsider. I've never experienced it personally. But it's very difficult there. I know players who've played there. Here for them it's paradise, not just in football, but also in life. Alessandro Nesta [who used to play at Lazio] couldn't go out to a restaurant because there'd always be some Roma fan.

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Old 15-03-2005, 21:44   #93
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"He'd be with his girlfriend and they would insult him. Here in Milan, I can go to whichever restaurant, and it would never happen.

"It's not that Romans are less well-mannered," he says, "but in Rome, they live football in such an intense way that it's not good for a player. It's negative for everyone. They praise you up to the stars then perhaps afterward you can't even live your normal life."

So would he be happy if one of his sons went into professional football? "I would never push him into it. But if I were able to wish him a life as beautiful as mine, why not?

"I'd be mad to not want him to have a life like that." After 20 years as a footballer, he now welcomes "healthy stress", saying, "You grow up as a man and as a player."

Then he suddenly leaps up.

"I've got to go to training. If I'm late, I'll be fined," he complains, "even if I am captain." He disappears down the gravel pathway with that slightly jackknifed-at-the-waist running style. Minutes later, three other millionaires screech into the car park. Carlo Ancelotti clearly doesn't mess about with those fines.

A few days later, when Milan's No 3 strolls over for more talk and some photographs, he says he narrowly avoided a fine: "I made it by 30 seconds."

So, if Milan is a city that lets its star players hang out in peace, when was the last time he rode the metro? "In the last let's see," he pauses, "in the last 18 years, no." He laughs as he carefully climbs onto a chair to pose for a photo amid jokes about "not falling off and injuring himself".

Eighteen years? "Yeah, when I still didn't have the motorbike licence."

Which metro line? "Line One," he shoots back right away, "going to training at Lotto with my school rucksack."

And when was the last time he went out for pizza and a beer? "Beer, I don't like, but pizza, yes," he says. "A lot," he adds guiltily, as though he fears one of the club's dieticians might be listening at the door. "Actually, I like going out for a trancia."

A trancia is the extra-thick piping hot version of pizza sliced into tranches and often shared as a takeaway. So the captain of AC Milan likes the equivalent of deep-pan pizza?

Many of his countrymen regard it as an absolute culinary abomination. He lists some of the places he frequents around town on his nocturnal escapades. I ask him if the staff are surprised when he walks in? "No, they are used to it by now."

Does he get discounts as a star player? "No." Warming to the theme, il Capitano adds, "Sometimes, after an away match, I'll go with a friend and find any old pizzeria on the outskirts of Milano. Maybe we've played at Roma at half past eight, and at three [in the morning] I turn up there because I'm starving."

How do the staff react? "They say, 'What, at this time?'" he laughs.

Demetrio Albertini confirms it. "Oh yes, Paolo and I would often go out in Milan for a beer and pizza. The city helps you a lot; Milan treats famous personalities in a normal way."

Paolo keeps to his beloved soft drink, Coke. "He used to drink it all the time," laughs Albertini, "and he was always eating those soft-centred sweets. Me too."

But back to the football. Longevity is one thing, but how on earth does Maldini maintain the sheer quality of his play, when he's now in his 37th year?

"I have I can't say fortunately but I've stopped playing for the national side so I have the chance to rest, and above all to train," he says, still standing patiently on top of the photographer's chair, waiting for the camera. If a member of the coaching staff had come in at this point, there would have been hell to pay.

When he quit the Azzurri after the 2002 World Cup there was speculation about ruptures with Italy's then coach Giovanni Trapattoni.

In reality, he had told Trap of his intention to quit even before flying to Japan. The sight of Korean striker Ahn Jung Hwan ghosting in behind Maldini's desperately short, tired leap, to head the golden goal that knocked Italy out of the competition, was an inglorious end to an illustrious international career.

Last summer Trapattoni tried in vain to entice him back for Euro 2004 in Portugal. But Maldini was well out of it. An under-par Italy imploded amongst media spats, desperate conspiracy theories about Scandinavian match-rigging and national embarrassment over Totti's spitting.

MALDINI is not one of those Serie A veterans who is planning on an end-of-career jaunt in England's Premiership. With admirable personal honesty and professional pride, he admits fearing cutting a "brutta figura". A bad image.

"No, it'd be tough in the Premier League," he says, leaning forward, speaking quietly and intently. "It'd be horrible, wouldn't it, going to a country at a point when you are on your way down, going to a country where they know you as a top player."

Yet the continued quality of his performances owes much to the way Maldini plays the game. The second-tier press stand of the San Siro affords a wonderful view of his masterclass. He epitomises the defender's art. No energy is wasted.

Timing is everything. Many tackles and runs are avoided by the intelligent expedient of anticipation. He reads a game so well that those around him are often left floundering. Just as Maldini learnt from a master, Baresi, now Nesta is collecting pearls of defensive wisdom from Maldini.

Nesta, now 28, is less rash in the tackle as a Rossonero. When the twin pillars are working in harmony at the heart of Milan's defensive quartet, it is like watching a pair of imperious Parisian waiters gliding effortlessly around the tables clearing the debris of unruly diners.

Alessandro Costacurta, to give him his due, often slides seamlessly back into his old partnership when called upon.

So the influence of his family, his playing style and his ability to switch off entirely from calcio are what provides Maldini's equilibrium. He argues that staying focused is the least he can do.

"There are negative things [about football]. But once I arrive here, a scene like this," he says, gesturing at the quiet, verdant splendour of Milanello, "there are 25 lads who have fun, they play football.

"They are paid well for doing it. We are truly pampered. They do everything to make us feel well. It's almost as though all your worries stop at the gates. This is the ideal manner to get the best out of you."

In the expert view of veteran Sandro Mazzola, 1960s star striker for city rivals Inter, "Paolo is the most complete defender there is. The difference between a good player and a truly great one, is being respected by your opponents, and he is."

One such adversary, Gianluca Vialli, formerly of Juventus and Italy, bears that out: "Paolo and I played against each other many times.

There was never any quarter given. But I have to say he was always fair, correct, and a fearsome opponent. Playing for such a big team doesn't mean it's easier to stay at the top. On the contrary, it's more of an achievement because it's harder to keep your place."

Vialli says Maldini is "serene, calm it comes from his family, his father, the family that Paolo has built himself.

As a player he's won everything at club level. His achievements are almost unbelievable." Vialli admits that when he was managing Chelsea, he tried to do the unthinkable, to wrest Paolo Maldini from Milan.

"The Capello era was finishing at Milan, Paolo's contract was ending. Five or six years ago, he was interested. I'd hoped to sign him and Marcel Desailly. Paolo likes the Anglo-Saxon atmosphere. But in the end he renewed with Milan. A pity. It would have been fun."

Mazzola recalls that the young Paolo started as a striker. "His dad Cesare was a great libero in front of the defence.

"So when I heard his son was appearing for Milan juniors, I went to see him. He was aged 12, he was the tallest so they put him up front." Maldini is 6ft 1in tall, although a slight stoop when standing or walking makes him look shorter.

He confirms, "Yes, I started as attacker on the right, then a midfielder on the right then in defence, and debuted on the right. Then I improved my left foot with practice. It wasn't easy. I didn't even know how to cross with the left."

Has he ever regretted not being a striker? "A little bit, yes," he concedes, starting to squirm slightly. "Maybe I would have been an average attacker, who knows." As a number three, he has netted 25 Serie A goals and just seven for the Azzurri.

"Yes, but I've missed loads!" he laments, half seriously. "But how can I really be disappointed when I've had such a career It would be absurd. But it's been useful for me. I wasn't born with the idea of being a defender, to just break up the attacking moves of the adversary."

Indeed, the indicator as to how comfortable Milan feel in any match is how much 'the world's most complete defender' allows the 'frustrated attacker' within to indulge in forward forays down the left flank. He is surprised at a mention of his crucial role in a Serie A goal against Livorno in September.

The headlines dwelt exclusively on goalscorer Clarence Seedorf's spectacular quick one-two with Kaka, but the key to the goal was Maldini's clever, perfectly-weighted pass that had earlier released Kaka.
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Old 15-03-2005, 21:45   #94
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"They are things that not everyone notices," he says. "But we, as a team, know the importance of that kind of pass. It's not the football of the 1970s or the 1980s when you had more time to move. The further forward you are, the less time you have to release your team-mate, so the weighting of the ball is fundamental."

It's hard to imagine for him and for us what a player who has been dubbed the Michelangelo of the defensive arts will do when he stops playing.

He has ruled out coaching. "For the past two or three years I've been thinking about what I'll do," he admits. "Sooner or later I'll have to get a proper job," he laughs. "I just can't see myself working in an office, doing fixed hours."

Meanwhile Diego Maradona, one of the players Maldini has admired most, thinks his old opponent should go into the movies. "He's a great footballer who chose the wrong profession. He should have been an actor he's too pretty to play football."

As a loyal one-club man captaining his home-town team, Paolo Maldini has become something of a rarity. When he does finally call it a day, football will be immeasurably poorer. In the meantime, there's another Champions League to win for his beloved Rossoneri.
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Old 16-03-2005, 01:55   #95
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What a class act....I grew up in North America watching Baseball...Hockey....Football and Basketball and rarely has there ever been a consumate professional like Maldini....the only onther athlete like him is Wayne Gretzky...he also is modest and retired as maybe the greatest athlete ever to play a team sport.....great article...thanks for the posting....forza Maldini
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Old 16-03-2005, 07:54   #96
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Thanks for the fantastic article mate


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Old 16-03-2005, 13:01   #97
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FORZA MALDINI
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Old 16-03-2005, 19:13   #98
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this is a master piece..thank u so much for the fantastic article...
i saved it to my disk and ll fwd it to everyone i know...

Michelangelo of the defensive arts - a truly correct title for Paolo.

Were there any pics to go with this article? Can u give the link from where u got this.

Thanks once again pal.

FORZA PAOLO!!!


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Paolo you re the best !!!
***Forza Milan***
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Old 16-03-2005, 19:15   #99
Besi
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Its amazing article , thanks KakaCalcio .. I enjoyed wile reading it .. FORZA MALDINI!!! I just hope his san will follow him steps..

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Originally Posted by logan
i saved it to my disk and ll fwd it to everyone i know...
ups I almost forgot to do this "


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He is football’s Mohamed Ali – he floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.
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Old 16-03-2005, 19:16   #100
kakacalcio
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Default great article about maldini

http://www.examiner.ie/pport/web/sup...uTLc4nqWo2.asp
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