AC Milan's record appearance holder Paolo Maldini has returned to San Siro having been appointed the team's sporting strategy and development director.

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One-club man Maldini made 902 appearances across 24 years with the Rossoneri and won five European Cup/Champions League trophies as well as seven Serie A titles. He retired in 2009 and rejected a behind-the-scenes position two years ago due to concerns over the role, but Maldini has now taken up a post at the club owned by Elliott Management.

'Excited and honoured'

Milan's executive chairman Paolo Scaroni said in a statement on Milan's official website: "There are few words to describe what Paolo Maldini represents for AC Milan. It was a privilege watching him as a player, winning countless trophies on the pitch, and I am excited and honoured to be working with him today in this new role.

"Paolo’s leadership and experience will benefit the club greatly, as will his passion and energy. Today’s appointment is yet another sign of Elliott’s commitment to build a strong foundation for long-term success.

"It will not be easy and it will take time, but we have ambitious objectives, and Paolo’s appointment is an important step toward returning AC Milan to where it belongs."