AC Milan hail Cesar Maldini’s ‘immense achievements’

The former Milan defender and Italy manager Cesare Maldini has died at the age of 84, the Serie A club have announced.

His former club said in a statement: “AC Milan sends its condolences to the Maldini family following the passing of Rossoneri great Cesare Maldini. Cesare skippered the club to its first European Cup triumph in 1963 at Wembley and the loss of such a key figure in Rossoneri history has left everyone at AC Milan moved and saddened. Cesare had recently turned 84 and he left his mark at the club not only as a player but also as a coach and scout. The club president, Silvio Berlusconi, and the rest of the club will always remember fondly his charisma, kindness and warm smile.”

Franco Baresi, another legendary Milan and Italy defender, said: “He was above all a really good person and he has left us. He was a legend and an incredible captain. As a coach he achieved so much and I had the good fortune of getting to know him really well. I was lucky enough to share with him the experience of the 1982 World Cup. I learned so much from him. He was important and key in passing on the kind of values that we so often forget.”

Milan have confirmed that they will wear black armbands in Sunday’s match against Atalanta and the Italian Football Association have said that there will be a minute’s silence before all matches on Sunday and Monday in Italy in memory of Maldini.

Mauro Tassotti, who played more than 400 matches for Milan and featured under Maldini for the national team, also expressed his condolences. “I had no idea he was unwell,” the 56-year-old said. “It’s such a blow for Paolo but also for my family and football as a whole. He was involved in the game for 60 years. This is a sad day for our sport and not just for Milan.

“I will remember Cesare for his kindness. He was a part of several eras of the game. In my view he took that benevolence that existed in the 1960s and modernised it.”

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