Search icon


21st Jan 2016

How the actual f*ck has Paolo Maldini got better looking with age?

Nooruddean Choudry

What a man.

Wednesday marked the 31st anniversary of Paolo Maldini’s professional debut for AC Milan vs Udinese in 1985. In a glittering career that was laden with team and personal honours, the Milanese legend cemented his place in footballing history as one of the greatest players ever.

It is also hard to ignore the fact that Maldini made the game sexy. A ridiculously good-looking presence on the field of play for 24 years, the muscular and elegant defender was a magnet for swooning admirers. Talented, rich and handsome – the jammy swine.

Still, at least he’d eventually lose his good looks with age. Expect he didn’t/hasn’t. Now approaching his 50th year, the Italian Denis Irwin actually seems to be getting better looking as he gets older. Like a George Clooney or Brad Pitt. Here we chart the timeline of a handsome devil…

Age: 12

A very young Paolo sups a brew whilst training with the Milan youth team.

Look: n/a. Bit Yew Tree to comment.

Age: 15

Looking as proud as punch in his shiny polyester kit.

Look: n/a. Still a bit Yew Tree.

Age: 16

Ignore the description, he’s 16 in that photo and ready for his professional debut.

Look: n/a. Borderline Yew Tree.

Age: 18

No it’s not an elaborate away kit, this is Paolo during his national service.

Look: Armani army man. A particularly handsome extra on the set of M*A*S*H.

Age: 21

Now firmly established in the first-team. Drop the boy, drop the boy – he’s now definitely a man.

Look: Intense and rugged. Perfecting his Blue Steel look.

Age: 23

Posing alongside San Siro teammate and perennial old man Carlo Ancelotti.

Look: Smart and tidy. The kind of young man you’d be happy for your daughter – or son – to bring home.

Age: 26

Winning the big one with Fabio Capello in what was a fantastic Milan side.

Look: He’s blooming, as the Daily Mail would say about an inappropriately young girl.

Age: 27

A champion in every respect. Widely acknowledged as the best full-back in the world.

Look: He’s fit and he bloody well knows it. Classic kit that too. Very nice.

Age: 30

Off to France 98 with the Azzurri. They’d get knocked out in the quarters by the hosts and eventual winners.

Look: He’s in the prime of his life. It doesn’t get better than this, surely.

Paolo Maldini : News Photo

Age: 32

Into his thirties now and showing no signs of waning as a supreme footballer.

Look: Still ridiculously handsome, but you can tell he’s worried. It’s all downhill from here.

Paolo Maldini of Italy : News Photo

Age: 35

Mid-thirties and he becomes his nation’s most capped player ever. Not bad at all.

Look: F*ck. It’s not downhill at all. He’s simply morphed from pretty boy to brooding hunk.

Sweet Years Homewear Launch : News Photo

Age: 39

In the very winter of his player career, and approaching his 900th appearance for Milan.

Look: He’s gone full Banderas. You expect him to kill a man using a fully-loaded guitar case.

AC Milan v AC Siena - Serie A : News Photo

Age: 42

Now retired from the game he loves, Paolo can spend more time with his young family.

Look: Forget what I said before, now he’s in the prime of his life. Age will catch up on him now…

AC Milan v AS Roma - Serie A : News Photo

Age: 44

Mid-forties and basking in his god-like status as a legend of the game.

Look: Okay so age hasn’t caught up on him yet, but that stubble is greyer and the hair’s a bit 90s.

AC Milan V SS Lazio - Serie A : News Photo

Age: 45

Still showing he’s got it with a round of very impressive testimonial performances.

Look: What the f*ck?! He’s gone and got himself a haircut and now looks like a super-handsome Roy Keane.

Age: 47

An elder-statesman of the game, Paolo becomes part-owner of Miami FC.

Look: FFS, you stupidly handsome and getting handsomer hammer-legend.

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?


Paolo Maldini