Maldini played into his forties at San Siro, with Silva learning under him as a young defender.
Now 36, Silva thanks his former mentor for teaching him about lengthening his career.
"I had very positive examples close to me and one of those was [Paolo] Maldini, the greatest mentor and teacher I had," Silva told the club's website.
"He taught me a lot, even though he wasn't aware of it. I was able to see his preparation for training and for the matches.
"He was a guy who, at 41 years of age, was playing at a high level. He didn't run as I did when I was 22 but if football was only about running then I definitely wouldn't be playing it anymore!
"The ball says everything. It's the ball that runs, it's the ball that brings intensity to the match, and I had a great example of that by my side."