Former Italian international, Paolo Maldini, has dismissed any idea of him returning to the national team for this summer’s European Championships in Portugal.

The Milan defender said: “It is a useless debate that has dragged on for far too much time.” Maldini, 35, who has won 126 caps, says he now wants to concentrate on playing for his club.

“In the league we are in a good position and our intention is to close the race as quickly as possible. In the UEFA Champions League we must confirm our pedigree for the umpteenth time.”

Maldini had been urged by fellow Milan and Italian defender Alessandro Nesta to return to the international fold.

“Paolo knows it would give all of us great joy to see him back for Italy,’ said Nesta. ‘But the final choice must be his and no one knows better than him if he is capable.”