On the 22nd Match Day of Serie A, AC Milan, in their quest for a victory against Hellas Verona, made a late substitution deep into the stoppage time. An 18-year old Daniel Maldini stepped onto the field, and San Siro brightened up. The fans started watching in anticipation, and each move of this boy was cheered.
The sight must have puzzled any fan who is unaware of AC Milan and its history. Though, this boy with blondish hair is arguably carrying the last name that has been the adam's apple of Rossoneri. When Daniel Maldini stepped onto the field in the 3rd minute of stoppage time, he carried forward a family tradition. He extended the decade long association of his family with the club.
What is the Association of Maldini family with AC Milan?
Daniel is the son of Paolo Maldini, arguably the greatest defender in the history of football and the current technical director of AC Milan. Paolo made his debut for Milan in 1984 and practiced his trade for 25 years with the club before retiring in 2009. Paolo Maldini won seven Serie A titles along with five Champions League titles with Milan. He made 647 appearances for the club, which is a record in Serie A, whereas the grandfather of Daniel, Cesare Maldini, played for AC Milan for 12 years between 1954 and 1956. Cesare won four league titles with Milan and then had two successful stints as club manager.
Christian Maldini, the elder brother of Daniel, also came through the youth ranks of Milan. He is currently plying his trade in the lower divisions of Italy. The Maldini family has been one of the most successful families in the club's history and is often touted as an epitome of loyalty.
Daniel Maldini, unlike his father and grandfather, is an attacking forward. He would like to emulate the examples set by his father and grandfather.
How the World reacted?
The feat achieved by Daniel is by no means a small achievement, and the footballing World welcomed him with open hands. Daniel was elated on the achievement though expressed his disappointment over the results. He said
“It was a dream, a shame about the result,”
“We hope to bring home the three points next game.”
“It (the debut) was a goal that I set for myself, now we hope to go on like this.”
Paolo also expressed his joy, though accepted not realizing the size of the achievement due to being engrossed in the team's performances.
He further added that the inclusion of Daniel wasn't planned as he was not present in training for the past two days.
The Twitterati also expressed their joy on the addition of Daniel