Santon believes Maldini's success was built on his faultless professionalism, as much as his God-given talent, another reason why he holds him in such high esteem.
He told the Sunday Sun: "I really admire Maldini the person. The guy is a real role model. He was a top player and also top professional.
"He lived his life in the right way. He was never late for training, I'm told, and he trained well every day. He didn't really drink alcohol and that is why he played at the top for so long.
"This is what I want to be like. It's how you need to live if you want to be a top player. Sometimes you can go out, but you need to know when is an okay time to do that and when to stay in.
"He always did the right thing."