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Interviewed by Paddy Agnew

He might have just become the most capped Italian player of all time but the hunger still burns. Having made his 113th appearance for Italy, 32-year-old Paolo Maldini takes over from his Euro 2000 team coach Dino Zoff as the most capped Italian international.

For some, it might be the logical moment to think of hanging up your boots, at least as far as the international team is concerned. Not for Maldini. He still feels that fate has cheated him, tantalisingly dangling big-time success in both World Cup and European Championship finals in front of his nose, only to snatch it away at the last moment.

Talking to World Soccer at Milan’s Milanello training ground, the Italy captain candidly admitted that the pain of his most recent disappointment with the Azzurri, that golden goal defeat by France in the Euro 2000 Final in Rotterdam, still lingers. It is a pain that will drive him on to go one better at the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan.

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