Wed 22 December 2021 | 20:29

Cesare Maldini Biography

He is regarded as one of the best defenders of Italian football in the 20th century and also a great coach. In this article, we will take a look at Cesare Maldini biography.

Cesare Maldini, born 5 February 1932 in Trieste, Italy and died 3 April 2016 in Milan, was an Italian football player and coach who played as a defender, predominantly for AC Milan.

He played most of his playing career with AC Milan, appearing in 347 Serie A matches. He was a rather elegant player and was to inspire his son Paolo, who became another great defender in the history of Italian football.

He went on to win the Italian Serie A title four times, a European Champions Cup against Benfica Lisbon and a Latin Cup in 1956. Subsequently, he became a club and national team coach, coaching the U21 team for ten years and then the Italian team at the 1998 World Cup.

In 2001, Maldini was appointed coach of Paraguay. He stepped down as Paraguay coach just after the 2002 World Cup at the age of 70, making him the oldest coach at the tournament. He passed away on 3 April 2016 when he was 84 years old.

All You Need to Know About Cesare Maldini Biography

His funeral was held on 5 April 2016 in the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan in the presence of Silvio Berlusconi and numerous football stars. His grandson Daniel, Paolo's son, is continuing the family dynasty by playing for

AC Milan

in the top flight as of February 2020.

Cesare Maldini Information

Now that we know the Italian coach much better, in this section of

Cesare Maldini biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Cesare Maldini nationality

to let you know him even better.

Cesare Maldini Bio

  • Full Name: Cesare Maldini

  • Nickname: N/A

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Cesare Maldini Physical Stats

  • Weight: 79 Kg

  • Height: 1.83 m

  • Eye Color: Blue

  • Hair Color: Dark Brown

Cesare Maldini Football Information

  • Position: Full-Back

  • Jersey Number: 5

  • Professional Debut: 1970

Cesare Maldini Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 5 February 1932

  • Date of Death: 3 April 2016

  • Birth Place: Trieste, Italy

  • Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

  • Nationality: Italian

Now stay tuned to this section of

Cesare Maldini biography

as we want to share some info about

Cesare Maldini childhood


Cesare Maldini Early Life

As a child, he started to play football in the youth club of the Servola district, where at the age of thirteen he made a great impression on the masseur of


, who arranged a trial for him at the club, where he later completed his entire youth training period and overcame the physical obstacle of pleurisy, which was likely to preclude his future football career.

During the early 1950s, he had the opportunity to meet Nereo Rocco for the first time, who was to become a key figure in Maldini's career and more so in his life. It was the Italian coach who decided in these years to add him to the first team.

But his professional debut was made under the orders of Mario Perazzolo on 24 May 1953, when he was twenty-one years old, playing a

Serie A

match against


(0-0). The very next season he became a starter and, notwithstanding his young age, he was elected captain of the Giuliana team, which after three years was back in Rocco's hands.

Cesare Maldini Profile

He finally came to the fore in the 1953-1954 season, and during the following summer coach Béla Guttmann approved his purchase by AC Milan and said: "This boy is a Milan player and he will play for Milan", a club where Maldini would play for the next twelve seasons.

He joined the Rossoneri as a backup to players such as Bergamaschi, Silvestri, Tognon and Zagatti, but thanks to a double injury to Tognon and Pedroni, he had the opportunity to play his first game in a home match against


at the Arena Civica, and since then he remained permanently in the starting eleven.

He was used by the Hungarian coach as a centre back, and later in the late 1950s, under the guidance of Gipo Viani, he shortly experimented with the zone defence playing in line with a young Salvadore - with who a rivalry soon emerged in the centre of the Milanese defence, because " the two looked quite similar, in style and way of playing", and which eventually saw the more experienced Maldini prevail -, while at the beginning of the following decade he bolstered a backline that saw him this time playing as a free between David and Trebbi.

The year 1961 was crucial from a professional and personal point of view, because on one hand he got the captain's armband of the Rossoneri club, and on the other hand he met again his "putative father", Nereo Rocco, as a coach.

It was Maldini himself, who had meanwhile become one of the most influential voices in the Milan locker room, who was crucial in convincing a challenged coach to continue the Milan adventure after the difficult first months, which helped the two men from Trieste and the Lombard team.

During his Milan years, the defender collected four league titles, a Latin Cup and, most importantly, the European Cup, which he lifted on 22 May 1963 at Wembley, after defeating Eusébio's Benfica in the final.

This was a historic success, the very first one achieved by the Rossoneri - as well as by an Italian club - in the event, breaking the Spanish dominance in the cup's roll of honour. After playing 347 games and scoring 3 goals, he left AC Milan, and in his last season, 1966-1967, went to play for


, still under Rocco's orders.

Now stay tuned to this section of Cesare Maldini biography as we want to share some info about his national team career.

Italian national team

Caesar Maldini made 14 appearances for the Italian national team, with which he played his first match on 6 January 1960 in the International Cup against Switzerland (3-0). He then participated in the 1962 World Cup in Chile and played on two occasions.

Furthermore, he was the captain of the Italian national team between 1962 and 1963, but he failed to achieve significant results in the Azzurri jersey, in part due to the technical downturn in Italian football which continued after the Second World War and into the early 1960s.

Coaching Career

Once his competitive activity was over, at the beginning Maldini remained at AC Milan working from 1967 as assistant to Nereo Rocco - who had taken him under his protective wing together with Gigi Radice and Giovanni Trapattoni, whom he saw as his heirs on the bench - and in 1971 he embarked on a coaching career.

Caesar Maldini became the assistant of the "parón" in the Rossoneri in that year, and the following year he was promoted to the head coach's position, working side by side with Rocco, who in the meantime had moved on to the role of technical director.

During the 1972-1973 season, Caesar Maldini won a great double by winning the Coppa Italia and the Cup Winners' Cup, respectively beating Juventus and Leeds Utd in the final, but unfortunately, he also had to face the Fatal Verona, which was the unexpected defeat on the field of the Scaligeri that, at the last round, cost Milan the possible league title of the famous star: it was a wrong step that will remain in the history of Italian football and that, in hindsight, eventually prevented him from continuing his career at high levels on the benches of club teams.

In the second half of the 1970s, after three years in Milan, he moved with mixed results to the management of small provincial teams such as


, Ternana and finally


; the latter team, which Maldini took in 1979 in Serie B after a victorious play-off-promotion against "his" Triestina, also helping in Emilia to the growth of a young Carlo Ancelotti.

In 1980 he was chosen by the Italian Football Federation president Federico Sordillo as assistant coach of Italy's coach Enzo Bearzot, replacing Memo Trevisan; he remained in that position until 19 June 1986, contributing to the Italian victory in the 1982

World Cup

in Spain.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Cesare Maldini biography

as we want to share some info about his coaching career at the U-21 Italian national team.

Italy U-21

In the following decade, he was appointed coach of the Italy Under-21 team. The journey of Maldini's Italy began at the Partenio stadium in Avellino on November 13th, 1991, when they defeated Norway 2-1 to gain mathematical access to the quarter-finals of the European Championships, in a tough group that also included Hungary and the reigning champions of the Soviet Union.

The journey of Maldini's Italy began at the Partenio stadium in Avellino on November 13th, 1991, when they defeated Norway 2-1 to gain mathematical access to the quarter-finals of the European Championships, in a tough group that also included Hungary and the reigning champions of the Soviet Union.

The Italy Under 21 team of the two-year period 1990-92 was a well-organised team with some important individuals such as Demetrio Albertini and Dino Baggio, who played for AC Milan and Inter respectively, Alessandro Melli, who played for Nevio Scala's surprising Parma team, and captain Corini, the current coach and at that time a promising young player at Juventus.

Italy eliminated Czechoslovakia in the quarter-finals and


in the semi-finals; Sweden, fresh from their successes against Holland and Scotland, were the finalists. Meanwhile, a young central defender emerged among the Azzurrini: Salvatore Matrecano, who played until June 1991 for Turris in C2 and who now played in Serie A for Zeman's Foggia.

The first leg was played at the Paolo Mazza stadium in Ferrara and


won 2-0 with goals from Buso, assisted by Rossini, and Sordo. On June 3, 1992, Sweden scored 1-0 with Simpson in the return match in Vaxjo but was unable to find the second goal. Italy won its first European Under 21 title in Sweden, but the story had just begun...

In the following edition, Italy reached the final phase after eliminating


, Scotland and Malta in the qualifying round and once again Czechoslovakia in the quarters. The four teams qualified for the semifinals and for the first time a final four was held in one of the four nations that had reached that stage. The designated venue was France and it was against the hosts that Maldini's Italy played a semifinal to be remembered.

The transalpines had a line-up of pure talent like Laurent Blanc, Lilian Thuram, Claude Makelele and Christophe Dugarry, but most importantly a young 21-year-old of Algerian origin: the future Ballon d'Or winner Zinedine Zidane. The bench featured the man who would become the historical nemesis for all Italian football fans: the unpleasant - to put it mildly - Raymond Domenech.

Italy was reduced to 10 players due to the sending off of Delli Carri, but the team resisted until the penalty kicks when a save by Toldo on Makelele was decisive in taking the Azzurrini to the final. Maldini's team was up against another respectable team at the La Mosson stadium in


on 20th April 1994: Luis Figo and Manuel Rui Costa's Portugal.

There were few goal-scoring opportunities and Toldo's biggest threat was a Fabio Cannavaro header which hit the post before going for a corner. In the last minute of regular time, the Azzurri coach made the right move: a tired Filippo Inzaghi went out and Pierluigi Orlandini came in.

In the 7th minute of the first extra time, in fact, the Atalanta midfielder's left-footed shot from the distance beat the Lusitanian goalkeeper and brought the match to an end: the 1994 European Under 21 Championships was the first competition in history to use the golden goal rule and so Orlandini's goal kept the Azzurrini on the European throne.

The two years 1994-1996 closed the period of Cesare Maldini's national team, and perhaps also saw the emergence of one of the most talented youth teams in the history of Italian football: full-back Christian Panucci, the pair of central defenders made up of Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro, midfielders Fabio Pecchia and Domenico Morfeo and fantasist Francesco Totti; goalkeeper was Angelo Pagotto from Sampdoria, whose reserve was the then 18-year-old Gianluigi Buffon.

The first stage saw Italy overcome a group composed entirely of teams that had emerged from the break-up of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union: Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia and Ukraine. Their last obstacle before the final four was Portugal, who had to surrender once again to the Italian army: therefore, Italy earned a ticket to the final stage in Barcelona.

Another Italy-France match in the semifinals: this time Maldini's team won 1-0 in regular time with a goal by Totti at 49′, who managed to put into the net a short rebound by the French goalkeeper Letizi after a shot by Amoruso.

They went through to the final at the Stadio Olimpico in Montjuich on 31 May 1996 against the Spanish hosts coached by Javier Clemente. Italy took the lead at 12′ with an own goal by Idiakez after a header by Totti on a free kick by Ametrano; then the Azzurrini were reduced to 10 at 37′ for the unjust sending off of Amoruso and a few minutes later Spain equalized with a beautiful free-kick by Raul.

The match went into extra time once again and this is when the match became dramatic: Ametrano was red-carded at 104′ for double booking and Italy, 9 against 11, had to defend against the Spanish siege for the entire second half, with the threat of the golden goal that would have ended the match prematurely.

Maldini's boys managed to hold out and took the challenge to penalty kicks: the first to kick from 11 metres was captain Panucci, who missed; but an amazing Pagotto rejected De La Pena's shot and even blocked Raul's. Domenico Morfeo scored the last penalty and gave Cesare Maldini's Azzurrini their third consecutive European title.

In this way, with the umpteenth triumph, a cycle that lasted for almost all the nineties ended, with only one regret: they never managed to win the coveted Olympic gold medal, being eliminated in the quarters by Spain in Barcelona '92 and even in the first stage by Mexico and Ghana in Atlanta '96.

Senior National Team

He was promoted to the senior team in preparation for the 1998 World Cup in December 1996, when he replaced Arrigo Sacchi and was in the unique situation of coaching a national team captained by his son Paolo.

Caesar Maldini introduced a man-to-man marking based on the role of the libero and reintegrated players on whom Sacchi had stopped betting, such as Roberto Baggio and Gianluca Pagliuca, or who were far away from the Azzurri for a long time, like Giuseppe Bergomi; he also brought the future stars Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Filippo Inzaghi and Christian Vieri, who had already been members of his Under-21 team.

Caesar Maldini stepped down in July 1998, having been knocked out in the quarter-finals of the World Cup on penalty kicks by France, the hosts and future winners of the tournament.

He took on the role of head and coordinator of Milan's scouts on 2 February 1999. He temporarily took a seat on the Rossoneri's first-team bench as technical director on 14 March 2001, working alongside coach Mauro Tassotti as a late replacement for the sacked Alberto Zaccheroni: During only three months of their management, the historic 6-0 victory in the Milan derby on 11 May was a major event.

At the end of a league that finished in sixth place, Caesar Maldini returned initially to his managerial role on 17 June, and was replaced by Fatih Terim; nevertheless, on 19 June, he was handed the post of technical adviser to the Turkish coach.

He was appointed head coach of


on 27 December 2001 with a view to the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. He was able to qualify the South American national team for the final stage of the World Cup, and became the oldest coach of the tournament when he was seventy years old (a record later beaten by one year, in 2010, by Otto Rehhagel): he stepped down on 15 June 2002, following their elimination in the Round of 16 against future finalists



Now stay tuned to this section of Cesare Maldini biography as we want to share some info about his playing style.

Style of Play

Caesar Maldini was the star of a career that would be followed years later by his son Paolo, who rose to prominence as a full-back, playing either on the left or right flank, before steadily taking on the role of libero in his final years. He was a player who had flexibility as one of his strong points, who performed well when playing as a centre half in a methodical system of play, or as a stopper, in which case he was the second-to-last defender of the team in front of the only goalkeeper.

As a coach for Italy, Maldini focused on the use of man-marking and free marking, but occasionally tried a four-man defence in a line. He used to employ two strikers who complemented each other in the attacking line, flanking a heavy centre forward with a quick, technical partner; he only resorted to the "trident" on rare occasions.


Lots of football experts and fans consider Cesare Maldini to be one of the best Italian defenders of the 20th century, who was able to achieve great success with AC Milan. As a coach, he also managed to develop generations of great footballers while coaching the U21 Italian national team. Cesare Maldini’s legend will definitely remain marked in the Hall of Fame of AC Milan and in the memories of many Tifosi.

Cesare Maldini outside Football

Together with Alessandro Altobelli, Cesare Prandelli worked as a commentator for the Qatari sports channels beIN Sports for a few months in 2012. For this reason, he often travelled to Qatar.

In the night between 2 and 3 April 2016, he passed away at his home in Milan, when he was 84 years old. The same day, in his memory, a minute's silence was held on all Serie A grounds, while AC Milan played the away match in Bergamo against Atalanta wearing black armbands.

A park near Milan's Giuseppe Meazza stadium was dedicated jointly to the memory of Cesare Maldini and Giacinto Facchetti the following 27 May. The Milan municipality agreed in September of the same year to have his name inscribed in Milan's Famedio, located inside the Monumental Cemetery.

Cesare Maldini Personal Life

In this section of Cesare Maldini biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like

Cesare Maldini life story


Cesare Maldini religion

, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

He was born in the district of Servola in Trieste, from parents of Slovenian origin. On 26 June 1962, he got married to Marisa who passed away on 28 July 2016. The couple had six children, first three girls and then three boys, including Paolo, who would follow in his father's footsteps successfully in the world of football.


During his career in football both as a coach and a player, Cesare Maldini took part in charity projects and was part of some charity football matches.

Legal Issues

Cesare Maldini was never involved in any legal issues or disputes during his life as there are not any legal issues or disputes on the English or Italian media.

Cesare Maldini Career Statistics

In this section of Cesare Maldini biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.


During his career as a footballer, Cesare Maldini played a total of 483 matches as a defender and managed to score 3 goals in all competitions. Having played the majority of his career for AC Milan, he is one of the most famous legends of the Italian club.


Between 1960 and 1963, Cesare Maldini played a total of 14 matches for the Italian national football team and was unable to find the net in any of those matches.


On the club level, Cesare Maldini achieved a 42.33 percent win ratio having collected 80 wins, 55 draws and 54 defeats in a total of 189 matches that he managed Foggia, Terni, Parma and AC Milan. On the international level, he had a 50 percent win ratio having coached the Italian national team on 20 matches, with 10 victories, 8 draws and 2 defeats.

Cesare Maldini Honors

Cesare Maldini won many titles during his time in football, including Serie A, European Cup and Latin Cup as a player and European Cup Winners' Cup, Coppa Italia and UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship as a head coach.

The list of his individual awards includes FIFA World Cup All-Star Team, World Soccer World XI, Panchina d'Oro Career Award and Italian Football Hall of Fame, among others.

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