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Paolo Maldini slenced some of his critics by scoring both goals for Milan in their 2-1 win over Reggina at the weekend.

The 37-year-old defender, who last month set a record for Serie A appearances, has been the subject of speculation in recent weeks, with some observers believing that time was finally catching up with the 37-year-old.

“It doesn’t often happen that I have so many chances to score, so I always try to make the most of the ones I get,” Maldini told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday.

Maldini’s display was the perfect response those who claim he is too old to lead Milan’s defence.

A recurrent knee problem kept him out of Milan’s line-up at the start of the season, prompting speculation that he might retire before his contract expires in June 2007.

“I’m coming out of a tricky moment. If I’m out there on the pitch it means I’m in good shape,” he said.

“At the start of the season I was a little worried. Now, however, I can see that my condition is getting better.

“The secret is the desire to get out there and play. For now, the little bit of cartilage that’s still there is okay. We will try to make it last as long as possible.”

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