Paolo Maldini refused to condemn the minority of AC Milan fans who attempted to undermine his farewell appearance for the club.
The veteran defender signed off on a 25-year career with the Rossoneri to largely tremendous support from the San Siro faithful following Sunday's 3-2 defeat to AS Roma.
However, the mood was soured after some ultras unveiled a banner which read: "Thanks captain: on the pitch you have been an infinite champion but you have lacked the respect of those that have made you rich".
Another read: "For your 25-year glorious career our deepest thanks from those you defined as mercenaries".
The banners were a direct response to Maldini criticising some fans earlier this season when he felt the team wasn't been supported during a disappointing run of results.
But rather than be drawn into a confrontation, Maldini maintained his dignity, saying simply: "I'm proud because I'm not a person like these fans."
Meanwhile, coach Carlo Ancelotti criticised the ultras' banners, adding: "It was only a minor section of the crowd. But they could have avoided that in what was supposed to be a special day for Paolo."