Paolo Maldini Has Qualified For A Professional Tennis Tournament
The cliche that some things, like a fine wine, only get better with age, may be trotted out rather liberally nowadays, but in the case of Italy and AC Milan's ageless former captain Paolo Maldini, the saying couldn't be more apt.
At 48 years of age, Maldini, one of the greatest defenders in the history of the beautiful game, has qualified for a professional tennis tournament.
The Italian icon, alongside his partner Stefano Landonio, will take part in the ATP Milan Challenger in the men's doubles bracket.
That Maldini is capable of turning his hand to anything and succeeding at it should come as no surprise. After all, this is a man who won five European Cups with Milan, the last of which, in 2007, was won with the ex-Rossoneri skipper becoming the oldest player to captain a Champions League winning side, at 37 years of age.
After spending 25 years hoarding trophies at the San Siro (26 in total), it was expected that Maldini would continue on with the Rossoneri in a coaching capacity. Instead, the iconic number three has stayed clear of any managerial or coaching commitments and now, only eight days removed from his 49th birthday, is set to compete for a title in a completely different sport.
The '90s were great, weren't they? Images: PA
Maldini's doubles partner Landonio told UBI Tennis, "It was our first competitive match, although with Paolo we had already played in some exhibition tournaments.
"Paolo has a good serve, along with some decent shots. He is also improving in his volleys. I don't think he has any particular weak spots in his game. He's quick on the court and I think he could play on a par with a 3.5, maybe 3.4.
"It's a little different on a clay court, there he'd suit a 4.1, but when it comes to the doubles, he's worth a lot more."
The Milan Challenger tournament will begin on 26th June, which is also Maldini's birthday.
Is it too late to register the pair for Wimbledon?
(H/T Football Italia)
Featured Image Credit: Paolo Maldini/Instagram