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Italy, AC Milan legend Cesare Maldini passes away at 84

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Not only is Cesare Maldini considered Milan football royalty, he also fathered Milan football royalty.

The longtime defender and manager, the father of Paolo Maldini, Cesare died Sunday at the age of 84.

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A 1962 World Cup All-Star with 14 Italian caps and 347 appearances for AC Milan, Cesare Maldini later managed i Rossoneri, Italy and Paraguay.

Cesare Maldini was honored by Milan, who wore black armbands on Sunday, as well as by all the Serie A teams, who paused matches for a minute of silence before kickoff.

during the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and AC Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on April 3, 2016 in Bergamo, Italy.
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Milan also said:

“Cesare had recently turned 84 and he left his mark at the club not only as a player, but also as a coach and scout. The club president Silvio Berlusconi and the rest of the club will always remember fondly his charisma, kindness and warm smile.”

Paolo Maldini made more than 900 appearances, including several under his father in 2001, as a one-club man at Milan. He is one of the partners of Miami FC in the NASL, who issued this statement:

Miami FC confirms AC Milan, Lazio legend Alessandro Nesta as first manager

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In a move rumored for ages, Italian legend Alessandro Nesta is set to begin his coaching career with Miami FC of the North American Soccer League.

Nesta, 39, has a World Cup title mixed in with 78 caps for Italy and played nearly 600 matches between Lazio and AC Milan before moving onto Major League Soccer with the Montreal Impact in 2012.

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The hiring of Nesta reunites him with former teammate Paolo Maldini, who owns the NASL club set to begin play in 2016.

From the Miami Herald:

“We are incredibly thrilled to bring Alessandro on board with Miami FC,’’ said Paolo Maldini, Miami FC co-owner, who played alongside Nesta. “As a former teammate and personal friend of Alessandro, I have a great amount of respect for his talent and believe he will bring out the best in our players.’’

Nesta, 39, will begin scouting players immediately for Miami FC’s inaugural season.

“I’m happy to say I’ve reached another exciting chapter in my career,’’ Nesta said. “I’m privileged to be allowed the opportunity to help establish Miami FC and bring it to the forefront of the NASL.’’

NASL swoops in to south Florida, expands to Miami before MLS

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The NASL just one-upped Major League Soccer.

In a move that has “competition” written all over it, the NASL announced it will expand to Miami by launching Miami FC thanks to an ownership group that is headlined by Italian soccer legend Paolo Maldini.

According to the press release written by the league, Miami FC does not have a designated stadium yet, but will not build one either, instead committing to play home games “in one of the existing world-class stadiums of Miami.”

Major League Soccer has been actively looking to expand in Miami with David Beckham leading the ownership group, but has hit a road block in its search for a suitable site to build a soccer-specific stadium. In what appears to be a direct stab at this struggle, another NASL press release with quotes from various parties begins with the following statement: “The NASL announced Wednesday that Miami FC will begin play in 2016 as the city’s only professional soccer club.”

Ouch.

“This exciting announcement is another testament to the strength of our rapidly growing organization, our owner-friendly structure, and the growing popularity of NASL soccer worldwide,” said NASL commissioner Bill Petersen through the press release.

Maldini also sang the praises of soccer in the United States.

“I’m proud and excited to be part of this venture,” Maldini said in the release. “I strongly believe in the growth of soccer in the USA, and this is the perfect project to develop a top-class soccer team in one of the most important cities in the world. We are glad not only to bring a professional soccer team to Miami, but also to support all of its communities through our social responsibility commitment. We believe that the fast-growing NASL will be the perfect platform to develop a successful team and a valuable business. Miami has been my second home for 15 years, so I look forward to spending more and more time here as Co-owner of Miami FC, giving my enthusiastic contribution for its success.”

Alongside Maldini in the ownership group is Italian businessman Riccardo Silva. Miami FC becomes the fourth NASL club in the state of Florida. While Beckham, Don Garber, and Major League Soccer searches south Florida high and low for a new soccer home, the NASL has struck first. What next for MLS?

Adriano Galliani out, Paolo Maldini possibly in at AC Milan

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The saga that is AC Milan’s front office took a surprise, dramatic turn today with the abrupt resignation of Adriano Galliani. The Rossoneri vice president had been at the club for 27 years, a span that’s seen the club win eight league titles and five European Cups, yet set to take the blame for the team’s disappointing Serie A start, Galliani will end his time at Milan on the wrong side of the club’s political turmoil.

That turmoil had pitted critics of head coach Massimiliano Allegri against Barbara Berluconi, daughter of club owner Silvio Berluconi. With her father in legal trouble, Barbara has reportedly stepped into the political void at the club, targeting her criticism at Galliani. With Milan sitting 13th through 13 rounds, the 69-year-old appears to have taken the fall.

From Sky Sports’ report:

“I will resign after the (Champions League) match against Ajax,” Galliani told Ana news agency. “I quit for good reason.

“I understand a generational change but it should not be like that, I deserved more elegance. There has been a severe damage to my image.

“I will resign with or without agreement (on the severance pay).

“My future? I’ll wait some time before deciding. My affection for president Berlusconi is not changed and it won’t change.”

If Galliani’s timeline holds up, Dec. 11 will be his final day with the club.

In his place, the Rossoneri appear set to welcome an exiled legend back to the club. Paolo Maldini, who has not been a part of the club since his retirement in 2009, is set to take up a role in management, reportedly to be named technical director and inherit some of the responsibilities Galliani will leave behind. Whereas the former vice president initially declined to create a position for Maldini (saying the role proposed after his retirement did not exist), the 45-year-old may get to take Galliani’s nameplate off the door.

Maldini’s is a name synonymous with the club, having spent the entirety of his 24-year career at the team. By the time he retired at the age of 41, the 126-time Italian international had won five European cups, seven scudetti, and three world club titles. He holds the record for most appearances in Serie A (647), Champions League (168), and for AC Milan (902). A long-time captain for both club and country, his absence from Milan has been a point of persistent conversation around the club.

Now, at Galliani’s expense, he returns, the legendary defender the beneficiary of  a political battle that finally seems resolved. Whether that will translate into better results remains to be seen, but with one chapter of the club’s boardroom drama closed, a little more attention can be focused on the field.