28 February 2016

Dino Zoff – footballer

Long career of a record-breaking goalkeeper

Dino Zoff, back row, left, with the Italian national team at the 1982 World Cup finals
Dino Zoff, back row, left, with the Italian national
team at the 1982 World Cup finals 
Dino Zoff, the oldest footballer to be part of a World Cup winning team, was born on this day in 1942.

Zoff was captain of the Italian national team in the final of the World Cup in Spain in 1982 at the age of 40 years, four months and 13 days.

He also won the award for best goalkeeper of the tournament, in which he kept two clean sheets and made a number of important saves.

Zoff was born in Mariano del Friuli in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. He had trials with Inter-Milan and Juventus at the age of 14 but was rejected because of his lack of height.

Having grown considerably, he made his Seria A debut with Udinese in 1961. He then moved to Mantua, where he spent four seasons, and Napoli, where he spent five seasons.

Zoff made his international debut during Euro 68 and was number two goalkeeper in the 1970 World Cup.  From 1972 onwards he was Italy’s number one goalkeeper.

He signed for Juventus in 1972 and during his 11 years with the club won the Serie A championship six times, the Coppa Italia twice and the UEFA Cup once.

Zoff (left), with teammate Franco Causio and team coach Enzo
 Bearzot (smoking pipe), accompanying Italy's state  president,
Sandro Pertini, as they fly back to Italy with the 1982 World Cup 
When Zoff retired he held the record for being the oldest Serie A player at the age of 41 and for the most Serie A appearances, having played 570 matches.

He was head coach at Juventus and Lazio, winning the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia with the former, and was then appointed to lead the Italian national team. He coached a young squad to finish second in Euro 2000 and was voted World Soccer Manager of the Year.

He was named the third greatest goalkeeper of the 20th century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, behind Lev Yashin and Gordon Banks.

In 2014, Zoff published his autobiography Dura Solo un Attimo la Gloria, 'Glory Lasts Only a Moment'.

The Chiesa di San Gottardo is the parish church of Mariano del Friuli
The Chiesa di San Gottardo is the
parish church of Mariano del Friuli
Travel tip:

Mariano del Friuli, where Dino Zoff was born, is a small town to the west of Gorizia in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, about 30km (19 miles) southeast of Udine and close to the medieval town of Cormons and the border with Slovenia. Many residents still speak friulano goriziano, a variant of the Friulian dialect, alongside modern Italian. The town's parish church, the 19th century Chiesa di San Gottardo, has an altarpiece painted by the Gorizia painter Giuseppe Tominz.

The Juventus Stadium in Turin
Photo: Juve2015 (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Travel tip:

Juventus stadium is in Corso Galileo Ferraris in Turin. To visit the club’s museum and tour the stadium, even getting the chance to look inside the dressing rooms, you can book a ticket at www.juventus.com 

More reading:

Gianluigi Buffon: Record-breaking goalkeeper still at top

Toto Schillaci: Italy's 1990 World Cup hero

How Enzo Bearzot plotted Italy's 1982 World Cup triumph

Also on this day:

1915: The birth of businessman Karl Zuegg, famous for jams and juices

1940: The birth of racing driver Mario Andretti

Selected books:

The Story of the World Cup, by Brian Glanville

(Picture credits: Chiesa di San Gottardo by Marchetto da Trieste; Juventus Stadium by Juve2015; via Wikimedia Commons)


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