Daniel Maldini relished his ‘dream come true’ debut as he became the third generation of his family to play for AC Milan.
His legendary father Paolo and grandfather Cesare have both gone down in club folklore and Daniel will hope to follow in their footsteps having come off the bench in stoppage time against Hellas Verona.
With the scores at 1-1, the 17-year-old could not help his side find a late winner but reflected on a significant day for himself and the Maldini family.
He said: ‘It was a dream come true, just a pity about the result. The debut was an objective of mine, now I hope to keep going strong. It was an emotional moment, but my father is very reassuring.’
And Paolo, who is director at the club where he made his name, added:
‘It was not planned, in fact he wasn’t even meant to be in the squad, as he hadn’t trained for a couple of days and was only added to the squad at the last minute.
‘I didn’t get the chance to feel too emotional, as I was so swept up in the game.
‘Looking at it now, I recognise it’s a wonderful moment for my family and the fans who welcomed him with such affection.’
Daniel is an attacking midfielder, playing higher up the pitch than both his father and grandfather who were top-class defenders.
Paolo made 902 appearances for the club and Cesare turned out more than 300 times. Daniel will hope for similar longevity and has made a promising start to his professional career.