Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Maldini turns down farewell game against Northern Ireland

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."

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