Legendary Italy defender Paolo Maldini is preparing to play professional tennis

Legendary Italy defender Paolo Maldini is preparing to play professional tennis

Eight years after retiring from professional football, one of the greatest defenders to have played the game is set to go pro on the tennis court.

Paolo Maldini, who won five European Cups with AC Milan during his career before retiring in 2009, has earned a wildcard entry to the Aspria Tennis Cup, an ATP Challenger Tour event.

The 48-year-old will do so with his men’s doubles partner and coach, Stefano Landonio – imagine finding yourself across the net from the Italy and Milan legend…

As per Sky Sports, Landonio said: “Paolo’s gifted with a good serve in addition to some decent shots.

“He’s also improving his volleys and while he may not be catching the eye in any particular part of his game, he does not have any weaknesses either.”

So a new adventure for Maldini, but it’s not all different – the former defender will once again be attempting to prevent the ball from finding the net.

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