Dino Zoff is one of the best goalkeepers the world has
ever seen. He has set lots of records in Italian and
world football. For instance he is the oldest player
to win the World Cup. In 1982 at the age of 40 he
could collect the trophy as captain of Italy's team.
And he is also the goalkeeper to have kept a clean
sheet the longest time, from September 1972 to June
1974 (1142 minutes!) he was unbeaten. Haiti, of all
nations, ended the run in the 1974 World Cup.
Zoff played most of his career in Napoli and Juventus
and he played for Italy a record 112 times. In 1968 he
was a member of Italy's European Championship winning
team, but he was dropped for the Mexico World Cup two
years later. Albertosi was preferred in goal in the
tournament where Italy were runners-up. In 1974 Zoff
was back in Italy's team, but despite his superb run
of no goals conceded, Italy went out in the group
stage. By the 1978 World Cup Zoff and Italy were among
the favourites, they even beat the eventual winners
and host nation Argentina in the group stage. But in a
decisive final round match against Holland, Arie
Haan's 40 yard shot sent Italy out. They played Brazil
in the bronze match and lost there too.
But 1982 was to be Zoff's year, in his final World Cup
he had success. After a slow start with only draws in
the group stage, Italy then beat Argentina, Brazil,
Poland and West Germany in consecutive matches and
became worthy champions. As many other players, Zoff
stayed in football after he finished playing and he
has, among several jobs, been manager of Lazio in Rome
and is now (Dec 99) national team coach for Italy.