Hundreds of fans waited patiently outside his city centre hotel yesterday for autographs and pictures.
And Maldini played a huge part in raising thousands of pounds for the Sir Bobby Robson and Newcastle United foundations and Great North Children’s Hospital.
Maldini won the European Cup five times and Serie A seven times in a glittering career.
Paolo Maldini: “It’s the first time I have ever played here and the fans are amazing. The stadium at Newcastle is always packed. You always enjoy playing at grounds like this.
“Newcastle United is such a big club and deserve to be at the top. I never got the chance to play against them in my career but heard so much about them. I loved the idea of playing here.
“We always enjoy playing together. It is always an honour pulling on the AC Milan shirt. I’m not in a perfect shape! But I tried to do well for my team. We always try to enjoy ourselves.
“The main thing was we raised some money for charity in Newcastle. That for me is the most important thing. That’s why we accepted the game. It was the main reason.”