Paolo Maldini on AC Milan return: "It's no joking matter"

The club have approached the legendary full-back over the prospect of returning in a technical capacity but Maldini says there are two clear obstacles to bear in mind.

Paolo Maldini on AC Milan return: "It's no joking matter"
Emilio Andreoli AFP

Paolo Maldini could be close to a return with AC Milan. The club’s new Chinese owners, who acquired the club from long-time owner Silvio Berlusconi during the summer and who are scheduled to take full control of the club by the end of the year, are keen to involve the rossoneri legend in their project and have made contact with Maldini to gauge his interest.

Maldini has already met with Vice-President David Han Li and has made his position clear.

Two clear obstacles, says Maldini

I can’t take on any responsibility if I do not identify with the owners,” he said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport. “I would like to get to know the new owners and hear about their project, talk about strategy and listen to their objectives and guidelines - that seems like a minimum for me.

Maldini retired from football in 2009 at the age of 41

"I wouldn't call them conditions, but it was they who came after me so it's only right that I ask these things of them. There are two clear obstacles: the lack of direct responsibility in the management area and the lack of clarity over what my role would be.”

Maldini, a one-club man, captained AC Milan during some its most successful spells, winning seven Serie A titles and five European Cups over the course of a 24-year career.

Objective: AC Milan among the top 5 clubs in the world

"I've been told that the objective is to get Milan back among the top five clubs in the world, but to do this we would have to be working 24 hours a day for a long time,” he added. “I'm willing to do that, but I need to know precisely how things are.

Maldini won 5 European Cups during his time at AC Milan

"There's no deadline, but all will be defined one way or another in the coming days,” he continued. “I am not in a rush and to be honest I don't think I should be, given how big the project is. All I want is to know what they intend to do for the good of Milan, then I will put in my image, credibility, dedication to these colours, time and hard work.

"And I'm obliged to be like this. We're talking about AC Milan and it's not a joking matter."