Maldini played in his fourth World Cup, and his second as captain, in the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan. He helped Italy keep a clean sheet in their opening win against Ecuador, and played in all four of Italy’s matches. Italy disappointed in the remaining group matches, but went on to the knockout round as the second placed team of their group. Immediately after a ten-man Italy were controversially eliminated in the round of sixteen, by a golden goal, to co-hosts South Korea, Maldini retired from international football, at the age of 34, as Italy’s most capped player. He scored seven international goals, all coming in home games. He spent over half of his 16 years as an international as team captain, wearing the armband a record 74 times, until he was overtaken by Cannavaro. Despite his performances for his country, Maldini was unable to win a trophy, although he reached the final of both the World Cup and the European Championship. Maldini made 23 appearances in World Cups, in 2017 still the second highest total after Lothar Matthäus, who appeared in 25 matches. Maldini holds the record for most minutes played in World Cup matches with 2,216 minutes played.