MILAN (AP) — Paolo Maldini’s tenure as AC Milan’s technical director has ended, the club announced in a brief statement Tuesday following reports of a rupture between the former defender and Milan’s new American owner, Gerry Cardinale.
“AC Milan announces that Paolo Maldini concludes his role at the club, effective as of June 5, 2023,” the club statement said. “We thank him for his years of service in the role, contributing to the return to the Champions League and to winning the Scudetto in 2021-22. His day-to-day duties will be performed by a team working in close integration with the first team manager, ultimately reporting to the CEO.”
The 54-year-old Maldini was a longtime captain of Milan as a player and is a fan favorite, so the move immediately drew protests from Rossoneri supporters.
Maldini and Cardinale reportedly diverged over how to handle the club’s approach to the transfer market, with Maldini having said the team needed a deeper roster to compete in the Champions League after getting beat by city rival Inter Milan in the semifinals of this season’s top European competition.
Milan also failed to defend the Serie A title it won in 2021-22, finishing fourth in the recently concluded season, 20 points behind champion Napoli.
Cardinale founded RedBird Capital Partners in 2014 and is the managing partner of the firm that purchased a controlling interest in seven-time European champion Milan for 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in September.
Maldini had been Milan’s technical director since 2019 and was largely credited with putting together the young squad that won Serie A last year.
Three different generations of Maldinis have played for Milan.
Maldini’s father, Cesare, also captained Milan and coached the club on two different occasions. Maldini’s son, Daniel, is a current Milan player finishing up a loan at Spezia.
Paolo Maldini helped Milan to five European Cup and Champions League titles as a player, and also won Serie A seven times in the Rossoneri shirt.
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