Paolo Maldini played in what he claimed was his final Milan derby on Sunday evening but was on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.
The Inter fans held up banners at the outset of the match, honouring the Milan defender, who is set to retire at the end of the season, for his great career. His father, former Milan and Italy coach Cesare Maldini, revealed that his son deeply appreciated the gesture.
"I was surprised to see the banner and dedications from the Inter fans," he told Radio Kiss Kiss. "It was a huge surprise for Paolo. He felt a great pride in seeing those messages. It was beautiful."
Cesare also shrugged off suggestions that Italy will soon be lacking in excellent defenders like Maldini.
"Four years ago, we exposed the problem of a lack of great young defenders in our country," he said. "There are now some bright lights in the Under-21 side, where there are several promising players."
40-year-old Paolo Maldini recently announced this will be his last season as a footballer.
Adam Scime, Goal.com