Maldini, known as one of the best defenders ever, had a remarkable stint with his childhood club AC Milan, playing a whopping 902 games before retiring in 2009.
During his time, he faced off against legends like Ronaldinho and Ronaldo Nazario, who both hailed Maldini as their toughest opponent ever. Ronaldinho was amazed by how effortlessly Maldini handled the game, a sentiment echoed by Ronaldo.
In a recent documentary about Ronaldo called 'The Phenomenon', Maldini praised the former Brazil striker, placing him among the top three players he ever witnessed in his career. Alongside Ronaldo, Maldini also acknowledged the brilliance of Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.
Though Maldini never went head-to-head with Messi on the field, the Argentine's talent made a significant impact on him, even from the sidelines.
On PoretCast podcast, Maldini said: "First of all, I have had the chance to play against great, great players and I think the best ones were, of course, [Diego] Maradona when he played for Napoli and Ronaldo when he played for Inter."
He added: "I didn’t play against Messi because he was injured, thank God he was injured."
A reporter then pointed out that Messi was lucky to have never come up against Maldini, who replied: "No, no, I was lucky."