Paolo Maldini is one of the greatest defenders to have ever played the game and and he played for only one team AC Milan, his home town club – and he played 902 times over twenty five years- and also played 126 times for Italy.
Steve Harper presented with plaque by the great Paolo Maldini
And it turns out last night was the first time Paolo ever played at Newcastle, and he has paid tribute to Newcastle and their fans in an exclusive interview after the game with the Evening Chronicle,
This is what he said:
“You took my breath away.” “It’s the first time I have ever played here and the fans are amazing. The stadium at Newcastle is always packed. You always enjoy playing at grounds like this.”
“Newcastle United is such a big club and deserve to be at the top. I never got the chance to play against them in my career but heard so much about them. I loved the idea of playing here.”
“We always enjoy playing together. It is always an honour pulling on the AC Milan shirt. I’m not in a perfect shape! But I tried to do well for my team. We always try to enjoy ourselves.”
“The main thing was we raised some money for charity in Newcastle. That for me is the most important thing. That’s why we accepted the game. It was the main reason.”
It was appropriate that Paolo was the captain of the Milan side last night at Steve Harper’s testimonial, with Steve getting over 50,000 at St. James’ Park, and having played for 20 years at his home town club.
That’s a tribute in itself to what Steve means to Newcastle fans.
And local charities will benefit greatly from the funds that were raised on what was a very special night at St. Jame’s Park.
We know Mike Ashley will hear about what happened last night, and how many other clubs could have produced a turn out like that?
It’s an indication of the greatness of Newcastle United, and since Ashley took over, we have been grossly under-performing, and there needs to be more investment made in the club by the Billionaire owner – and he needs to show a lot more ambition too.
We need to be great again – and soon too – for a lot of us older fans.
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