Ricorrenze Azzurre

Happy birthday to Walter Zenga!

The iconic goalkeeper of the 80s celebrates his 61st birthday today: The shot-stopper at the 1990 World Cup in Italy made a total of 58 Azzurri appearances

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Happy birthday to Walter Zenga!

Walter Zenga was born in Milan on 28 April 1960. Voted as the world’s best goalkeeper each year between 1989 and 1991, a product of the Inter youth system, he went on to spend most of his professional career with the Nerazzurri club, where he won a Scudetto, a Coppa Italia and two UEFA Cups. A starter from the 1983/84 season, he collected a total of 328 appearances, the most recent being in the 1994 European final against Salzburg. He ended his football career by defending the goals for Sampdoria, Padova, and New England Revolution, a team where he also began his coaching career. His life as a coach would take him to Serbia, Romania, Turkey, England, and the United Arab Emirates, with various Italian excursions in between, in Catania, Palermo, Genoa, Crotone, Venice and, most recently, Cagliari.

A starter for the Under 21 team that finished as runners up at the European Championship in 1986, he was called up by Coach Bearzot as the third-choice goalkeeper for the World Cup in Mexico. His debut with the senior national team, however, took place a few months later, in a friendly match in Bologna against Greece, on the day of Azeglio Vicini's debut in the Azzurri dugout. He defended Italy's goal at both the 1988 European Championships and the 1990 World Cup in Italy, during which he set the record for the longest time without conceding in the history of the World Cup, remaining unbeaten for 517 minutes. After the event, in which the team picked up a bronze medal, he defended the Azzurri colours until 1992, racking up a total of 58 appearances.