Cesare Maldini, the Italian football icon who birthed a calcio dynasty and won major titles as both a player and a manager, has died at the age of 84.
A commanding defender during his playing days, he made around 400 appearances for AC Milan between 1954 and 1966, winning Serie A four times. He also captained his team to the 1963 European Cup. At international level he featured 14 times for his country, being named in the team of the tournament for the 1962 World Cup in Chile.
Born in Trieste on 5 February 1932, Maldini, who was known by the nickname Cesarone, captained an Milan team that became the first Italian side to win the European Cup. After spending 12 years playing with the Rossoneri he went on to coach them, leading them during two different spells.
He moved to play for Torino in the twilight of his career, before retiring in 1967.
In a statement, the club extended its condolences to his family. It wrote: "All of Milan, all the people and the Milan figures express condolences to Mrs Maldini, their children and grandchildren."
A tweet posted on the club's official account read: "Goodbye dear Cesare. Today the world loses a great man and we lose a page of our history. You will be missed."
He also managed the Italian Under-21 team, winning the U21 European Championships a record three times in a row between 1992 and 1996. He would go on to manage the senior squad at the 1998 World Cup quarter-finals, where after a bright start, his much fancied side lost to hosts and eventual winners France on penalties after a dour 0-0 draw. Following the loss, he suffered criticism for his classic Italian defensive style and resigned. He returned to international football at the helm of Paraguay for the 2002 World Cup, leading them to a last-16 finish in Japan and South Korea.
Maldini's son Paolo is an Italian and Milan legend in his own right, and a third generation of Maldinis is now playing there, with his grandsons Christian and Daniel both featuring for the club's youth teams.