Milan director Paolo Maldini shares his favourite memories in the Champions League ahead of the Rossoneri’s clash with Liverpool.
The Serie A giants play their first game in Europe’s elite competition in more than seven years tomorrow.
Maldini, a club legend now serving as technical director, has shared his best memories in the competition which he won five times during his playing career.
“The Champions League was for me perhaps the highest point of my career at Milan. The Champions League that used to be the European Cup, which my dad won in 1963, the first time ever for an Italian team,” he told Milan TV.
“It’s a source of really strong emotions, from the first game you couldn’t afford to get any game wrong, the slightest mistake could get you knocked out.
We are finally #BackHome: let's relive some glorious memories with Paolo Maldini ❤️🖤
— AC Milan (@acmilan) September 14, 2021
“The most intense moments were the six days before the derbies in the 2003 semis the Final against Juventus and the last Champions League won against Liverpool,” the 53-year-old continued.
The Rossoneri won the trophy at Old Trafford in 2003 against Juventus. They played the semis against Inter before beating the Bianconeri in the Final.
“When [Silvio] Berlusconi became President, his idea was to have a team that could play the same away as they did at home,” Maldini added.
“We got to such a high level that we didn’t feel the pressure when we reached a Final. Of course it’s an amazing feeling lifting the trophy as captain was the reaching of an objective that still remains a common goal because this is a team sport, not an individual one.
“The great strength of this club is that it is made up of over 100 people, not just on the pitch.
“Many of my most treasured moments are linked to the feelings that people give you. When people ask me what I miss the most apart from the routine of training, of dressing room life, it’s the adrenaline rush when you get to the stadium.
“When we played in Barcelona our first final against Steaua, that sea of Rossoneri fans is truly unforgettable for those who were there as getting to the Stadium in Manchester and seeing our fans.”
Milan played their last Champions League match against Atletico Madrid in 2014.
The suffered a 4-1 defeat at the Estadio Calderon in the Round of 16 with Clarence Seedorf on the bench.
Milan will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Anfield Road tomorrow so either Olivier Giroud or Ante Rebic will start as a sole striker up front.