By Chris Harris
Paolo Maldini has seen off most strikers during his glittering career for club and country but he expects a tough time against Emmanuel Adebayor tonight.
The 39-year-old made his 1,000th professional appearance at the weekend - all for Milan - and will bring the curtain down on 22 years at the top when he retires in the summer. Maldini wants to go out in style with a sixth European Cup but he will have to keep Adebayor quiet to keep that dream alive.
Maldini rates Arsenal highly and is bracing himself for a difficult evening against the man who has scored 13 times in his last 12 appearances.
"Adebayor is different to play against because he is very tall but also very fast," said Maldini at his pre-match press conference.
"Compared to 15 years ago it is easier to find players like this - very tall and also very skilful. He has found himself in a team that plays very good football to help him.
"This Arsenal team are full of young players and have lots of enthusiasm. They are playing a great championship at the moment.
"I think it is more difficult facing them this year than in the previous years because they play a different way and they play the ball quickly and have an outlet in their striker Adebayor. They don't usually use a long ball.
"It will be a difficult match of course. They are top of the Premier League and we are here as champions of Europe, which makes me feel optimistic. Our tradition and history makes me feel confident."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 20 Feb 2008