Maldini turns down farewell game against Northern Ireland
Published 08/05/2009 | 00:15
AC Milan captain Paolo Maldini has turned down the chance to make a one-off comeback for Italy in their friendly with Northern Ireland on June 6.
The 40-year-old, who will retire at the end of the season, ended his international career in 2002 after collecting a record 126th cap.
"No, I will not play a farewell game with the national team," said Maldini.
"I would like to thank the federation for expressing an interest. But I prefer to leave football with an official match because I am not a fan of farewell games."
The veteran defender will play his last game at Fiorentina on May 31, bringing to an end a 24-year career.
"I am living these last few games of my career in a calm way," said Maldini.
"I am preparing for my farewell from football without any regrets after almost 25 years in football.
"A different life awaits me."