Paolo Maldini is a household name in Italy. The famous left-back had a long successful career playing his entire career at Italian giants AC Milan. He is known for his stamina, fitness, intelligent football brain and ability to read the game.
With a career spanning over twenty-five years, it’s no secret that Maldini was at the top of his game throughout his career, playing at the highest level for over two decades. Along the way, earning many trophies and personal achievements. A true ambassador to the sport.
This article will look at Maldini’s past career, what he has been doing since retirement, and understand Paolo Maldini’s net worth today.
Paolo Maldini’s Net Worth
|Paolo Maldini’s Net Worth||€35 million|
Paolo Maldini Salary
Maldini’s primary income source was from playing football. Despite playing at the top level and being loyal to AC Milan for so many years, it’s unknown what Maldini’s initial salary was at the club. However, his salary will have peaked in the early 2000s, where we estimate his yearly salary from the club would have been the highest.
Defenders are generally overlooked when it comes to football. The more enormous salaries and sponsor deals typically go to the more marketable flamboyant players. On the other hand, Maldini was very loyal to Milan, and we believe he would have been on a steady top-tier salary for the club throughout his career. From €2million – €3million a year.
In 2003, Maldini made a noble gesture and accepted a 50% pay cut at Milan to stay at the club. His salary went from 5million euros to 2.5million euros. Claiming for the love of Milan, he is willing to stay and accept less to remain at the club he joined as a schoolboy. The place he has lived all his life.
Paolo’s Club Career
Many fans and piers respect Maldini for his hard work, dedication and no-nonsense approach to the football game. Nicknamed ‘Il Capitano’ (The Captain), who served most of his football career as captain for Milan and Italy national side, Maldini was a leader in the game.
Starting his professional career at Milan back in 1987 at the age of 17, where he came through their youth system—winning the Seria A that year, which would be the first of many trophies in his collection. Following in his father’s footsteps, Cesare Maldini also captained Milan and spent his career there. Despite being offered deals to join Manchester United and Real Madrid, Paolo was always loyal to the Milan club. He respectfully declined, explaining he is Milan, as was his father and grandfather.
Throughout his 25 years at Milan, Maldini has seen the club grow from strength to strength, playing alongside many memorable superstar players throughout his successful journey. Maldini has won the Italian League seven times with many runner-up places during his career in Milan. Along with three Champions League trophies and five Italian Super Cup winning medals.
Maldini has finished second to George Weah for FIFA World Player of the Year in 1995 and third in the Ballon d’Or in 1994 and 2003. Maldini was named to the FIFA World Cup Dream Team as a defender in 2002, and he also to Pelé’s FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players in 2004. Also, making the Ballon d’Or Dream Team for 2020.
When it comes to appearances on the pitch, Maldini is at the top. Once holding the record for the highest number of appearances in the Seria A league, Buffon surpassed his record 11 years later in 2020. He is also one of only 30 players in the world to make over 1,000 career appearances at a professional football level.
Paolo Maldini International Career
Maldini played for his country for 14 years, where he earned 126 caps. He came third behind Cannavaro and Buffon for the highest number of caps for Italy throughout his career. Maldini had the privilege of playing in five World Cup competitions for Italy but was unfortunate to win a World Cup medal whilst appearing in many finals.
Maldini’s International career began in 1988, and then he retired from the Azzurri blues in 2002 after holding the captain role for eight years. Maybe the biggest regret of his international career was turning down his call-up for the 2006 World Cup, which Italy won that year. Either way, Maldini was seen as a national treasure, respected for his country and club Milan.
Paolo Maldini Achievements
- 3x Champions League Winner
- 2x Intercontinental Winner
- 1x FIFA Club World Cup Winner
- 1x Italian Cup Winner
- 5x Italian Super Cup Winner
- 7x Italian Champions Title
- Defender Of The Year (2003)
- 4x UEFA Super Cup Winner
- 2x Champions Clubs Cup Winner
- 1x World Cup Runner-up (1994)
- 1x Euro Runner-up (2000)
- 3x Champions League Runner-up (04, 94, 92)
Paolo Maldini Endorsements
Nike was Maldini’s main sponsor throughout his career. Appearing in their Nike football TV commercials alongside the likes of Eric Cantona and Ronaldo.
Towards his later career, Maldini signed a deal with high street clothing giants H&M, where he had his collection called MALDiNi, which he would model. Giorgio Armani offered Maldini a contract to model their high-end clothing, but he kindly declined.
Back in 2003, Maldini and Italian national teammate Christian Vieri founded a clothing range named Sweet Years. They both held 18% shares in the project, and it reported earnings of 4million euros after their first year. The simple red heart design on t-shirts was promoted during their games. Their business continues today, where they market to Asia as well as other parts of the globe.
Paolo Maldini Life After Retirement
Maldini retired in 2009, at the age of 41. Shortly after retiring, he was offered a coaching role at Chelsea, working with his former manager Carlo Ancelotti. However, Maldini turned down the offer to be part of their coaching staff.
In 2012, Maldini was enlisted into the Italian Football Hall Of Fame for his contribution to the sport. Not shying away from the sport, Maldini was still taking part in a few charity games with fellow football legends such as Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Pavel Nedved. Playing in a charity match in 2014, ‘Match Against Poverty’ held in Switzerland and ‘Match for Peace’ in Rome.
In 2015, Maldini became a shareholder of the North American Soccer League (NASL) club Miami FC. Not to be mistaken with Inter Miami, the club that David Beckham recently owns. It seems the football legend like the idea of retirement out in the states.
However, Maldini’s most recent role is currently technical director back at his home club AC Milan. Putting his years of experience to good use with the club’s coaching team, where he spent his whole career. This marked his official return back to the club since his retirement in 2009.
Paolo Maldini Personal Life
Born in Milan, on 26th June 1968. Maldini and his ex-model wife Adriana Fossa have two sons together named Christian and Daniel. His sons are currently playing football in the Milan youth team and hope to follow in their fathers’ footsteps.
Paolo Maldini and his wife Adriana married in 1994. They met in a nightclub in 1987 and claimed it was love at first sight. His wife is Venezuelan and used to be a model for designers such as Versace and Laura Biagiotti, where she would travel to Paris, Miami and Milan, where the two met.
Adriana has shares in Sweet Years, the brand founded by her husband and Christian Vieri.
Aside from football, Maldini began to take up tennis since his retirement and qualified for the Asprina Tennis Cup in Milan in June 2017. Unfortunately, his short professional tennis career was to end after his first-round defeat in the tournament.
Maldini leads an exciting retired life. His social media pages promote his past accolades and posts documenting sporting events and when he meets ex-players from his career. Maldini’s Instagram page has 2.1 million followers, whereas his Facebook has 4 million. He travels back and forth from Milan to Miami, rubbing shoulders with celebrities such as Kevin Hart and rapper Drake in Miami.
As you would expect, the Il Capitano is still sitting on a small fortune. From his extensive career, tournament bonuses, and awards, Paolo Maldini’s net worth is an estimated €35 million. Furthermore, his recent side projects in buying and selling real estate in the US and selling a big plot of land in New York City have increased Maldini’s wealth significantly.