The prize is given to players who only represented one team in their career, with Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier the first recipient 12 months ago, and Maldini recognized in 2016.
“Of course I know Athletic, they’ve always been a team I admired for their decision to only use Basque players or players formed there,” Milan icon Maldini said in an interview.
“Athletic have managed to be very competitive in Spain and in Europe and in modern football, that’s amazing.
“I honestly didn’t expect to receive this award, so I’m glad that it’s appreciated I played my whole career with one team. One of my earliest memories of football is the UEFA Cup Final that Juventus won against Athletic.”