By FOX Sports staff
Maldini, widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the history of the game, made over 900 appearances for AC Milan over 25 seasons and also won 126 caps for Italy, playing in four FIFA World Cups and three European Championships.
Although the 45-year-old won 26 major trophies during his time with the Rossoneri, success at international level ultimately eluded him but the same cannot be said about Ramos, who has already won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008 and 2012 with Spain.
Ramos also has three La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey to his name since joining Real from Sevilla in 2005, and is viewed by many as one of the best in the business whether he plays at right-back or centre-back, where he has been deployed most frequently in recent seasons.
However, the 27-year-old is still prone to the odd lapse in concentration but Maldini believes that he could claim the title of the world's best defender ahead of Paris St-Germain's Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva, if he was just able to eliminate that one flaw from his game.
"Sergio Ramos has everything to become the best defender in the world," the ex-Milan captain told Marca. "If he is not already.
"He is very close, together with Thiago Silva, but he must perfect some things to be the undisputed number one.
"He must be ambitious and work more in his head, because on the physical and technical sides he already has plenty.
"I am sure that [Real coach] Carlo Ancelotti will be a big help for him in putting the final touches to this."
Like Ramos, Maldini also spent his early years primarily deployed as a full-back due to his skill, energy and pace before shifting to the centre of defence as he reached the latter stages of this career.
And he believes Ramos has to find an increased level of consistency to be a real success as a centre-back.
"He can play in various positions at the back - centre-half and full-back," Maldini explained.
"But to be the best centre-half he must always play a perfect game. Always."
Ramos has made over 350 appearances for Los Blancos in all competition and is also already the fourth most-capped player in Spain's history with 111 international games to his name.