Thursday August 9 2012
Maldini Snr unimpressed by Zapata

Former Milan player and Coach Cesare Maldini has been left less than impressed by his old club’s move for Cristian Zapata.

The Colombian completed a quick loan move back to Italy yesterday by joining the Rossoneri from newly-relegated Villarreal in Spain.

As a non-EU national, the former Udinese player has taken up the squad’s final allocated spot, ruling out future moves this summer for other non-EU nationals such as Carlos Tevez, Leandro Damaio and Edin Dzeko.

Beyond this point though, Maldini, who made almost 350 appearances for the Diavolo before taking to the bench in two separate spells at San Siro, is struggling to understand the transfer’s merits.

“I did not expect the arrival of Zapata. We’ll evaluate how he is physically, but I certainly expected something better,” the 80-year-old declared this week.

“I remember in Udine he did very well, but at Villarreal he has not done very well and he has had an injury.

“But, clearly Milan will have followed the player and considered him fully recovered. I think he is still not exactly a central defender, but inevitably will have some kind of reception from fans after the departure of Thiago Silva.

“The Brazilian is a phenomenal player that I believe could have had a long career with the Rossoneri like Franco Baresi or Paolo [Maldini].

“I believe we need a high level player in defence.”

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