Age knows no bounds for Maldini, probably the greatest left-sided defender of his generation.
The World Cup in South Korea and Japan will be the 34-year-old's fourth.
Maldini, who has stayed loyal to Milan throughout his career, is past his prime and has understandably lost some of the pace which previously characterised his forages down the wing.
However, there are few players with greater experience than Italy's most-capped player.
Since his debut in 1988 he has amassed well over 100 caps.
Such longevity in the Azzurri side is testimony to Maldini's talent and leadership.
He has played as a libero and in central defence, but it is as a left-sided defender that he has demonstrated the technical skill, awareness and composure that has made him a class apart.
He is a calming and charismatic leader on the pitch and will be key to Italy's progress in the tournament.