Baku. 3 April. REPORT.AZ/ The former Milan defender and Italy coach Cesare Maldini has died at the age of 84.
A commanding yet graceful player, typically deployed as a centre-back or sweeper, Maldini played in excess of 400 matches for Milan between 1954 and 1966, helping them to four Serie A titles and the European Cup in 1963.
Maldini finished his playing career with Torino before continuing his association with Milan by serving as assistant manager and then manager between 1972 and 1974.
He then served as assistant manager of the Italian national team from 1980 to 1986, before achieving great success with their Under 21 team, who won three consecutive European Championships.
Maldini helped nurture the likes of Francesco Totti, Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro.
Replacing Arrigo Sacchi as Italy manager in 1996, he guided the Azzurri to the 1998 World Cup finals in France, where they would lose to the hosts and eventual champions on penalties in the quarter-finals.
Maldini would taste another World Cup with Paraguay in 2002, where the South American team were knocked out by eventual finalists Germany.
Maldini's son, Paolo, also a defender, would become a Milan and Italy legend in his own right.