Milan's Maldini to follow in family footsteps with first Serie A start

La Spezia (Italy) (AFP) –


Daniel Maldini will revive a long-standing family tradition on Saturday when he starts in Serie A match for AC Milan for the first time.

Over 12 years since his father, club legend Paolo last played for the seven-time European champions, Maldini junior will take his place in the starting XI at Spezia.

Former Italy defender Paolo Maldini, who won almost every honour in the game during his 25 years as a Milan player, will be watching his attacker son from the stands as he has been the club's technical director for the past two years.

The 19-year-old Maldini will also emulate his grandfather Cesare Maldini, who won five league titles and the 1963 European Cup for the Rossoneri, when he lines up behind returning centre-forward Olivier Giroud.

Daniel made his senior Milan debut as a late substitute during a 1-1 draw with Verona in February last year, and has played in a clutch of matches from the bench since.

He made his first Milan start in their Europa League match at Sparta Prague the following December and has made three short appearances as a substitute this season, including seven minutes towards the end of a 3-2 defeat at Liverpool earlier this month.

Milan sit third in Serie A heading into their match at Spezia, two points behind Serie leaders Napoli and level with city rivals Inter Milan, who host Atalanta on Saturday evening.