Friday afternoon question: Should Maldini, Figo and Cafu quit?
It is hard to know when to say goodbye.
A footballer’s career is short and it can be tempting to play on as long as possible. But soccer is cruel and past achievements mean nothing when clubs plan for the future.
AC Milan captain Paolo Maldini, 39, will soon decide if he will retire at the end of the season following 23 years at the San Siro. The defender had been due to quit in May but is having second thoughts. It may all hinge on whether Milan snatch a Champions League place.
Team mate Cafu, 37, says he wants to play on as he is still motivated. The problem is Milan need fresh blood in defence and might not want him to stick around. Sometimes it is best to decide before the club have to.
Luis Figo, 35, is also pondering the future. He was given a one-year deal by Inter Milan last season after he pulled out of a move to Saudia Arabia. Injuries have robbed the Portuguese of his drive and he now looks a spent force. Inter coach Roberto Mancini has hinted this, but owner Massimo Moratti wants to keep Figo on.
So what should this great trio do? Hang up those famous boots or plough on in search of even more success?
Mark Meadows, Milan
PHOTO: AC Milan club captain Paolo Maldini speaks to reporters during a news conference in Yokohama during the Club World Cup, Dec 7. REUTERS/Michael Caronna