Picture : IFFHS Award 1990 for Walter Zenga in Milan.
IFFHS THE WORLD’S BEST GOALKEEPER 1989, 1990 and 1991 : WALTER ZENGA (ITALY)
Born 28 April 1960 in Italy, Walter Zenga began his youth career in Macallesi, before joining Internazionale Milan in 1971, 11 years old. He played there with the youth, started his professional career in 1978 (loan in Salernitana, Savona and Sambenedettese with 93 matches) and joined the first team of Inter Milan in 1982. He became quickly Inter’s starting goalkeeper in 1983 and made twelve seasons with Inter until 1994 (328 matches) ! He won the Serie A in 1988/89, the Italian Super Cup in 1989 and two times the UEFA Cup in 1991 and 1994. In this period he entered in the Italian National team, enjoyed the selection for the World Cups 1986 and 1990, also the UEFA Euro 1988. He was capped 58 times for Italy (41 clean sheets !) between 1987 and 1992 , winning the bronze medal at the World Cup 1990 in Italy.
Walter Zenga experienced at this time the peak of his career. For three consecutive years (1989, 1990, 1991), he was nominated by IFFHS, THE WORLD’S BEST GOALKEEPER. He is regarded by experts as one of the best goalkeepers of all time. In 2000, the IFFHS designated Walter Zenga as the 20th Best World Goalkeeper of the Century and in 2013, he was voted by IFFHS World’s number 8 of the past quarter century ! His great explosiveness, his agility, his elegance and his sharp reflexes enabled him to become a Legend Goalkeeper.
After winning the UEFA Cup in 1994, he left Inter Milan to go to Sampdoria (41 matches) and then to Padova two years later (21 matches). He moved to the Major League Soccer in USA to New England Revolution in 1997 (47 matches) before stopping his player career (530 club matches and 58 national caps).
His first managerial job was a Player-Manager of New England Revolution, where he retired from active football, in 1998. He continued his managerial career with Milan Serie D team Brera Calcio, before moving to Romania in 2002. First he coached National Bucuresti (2002/2003), and then Steaua Bucuresti (2004/2005), where he won the Liga. In 2005, he joined Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda), leading the team to the Serbian double (SuperLiga and Serbian Cup). He signed then in Turkey (Gaziantepspor in 2006), United Arab Emirates (Al Ain in 2007), returned to Romania (Dinamo Bucurest in 2007) and to Italy (Catania in 2008/2009 and Palermo 2009/2010).In may 2010, he became new head coach of Al-Nassr (Saudi Arabia) before going to Al Nasr SC in UAE six months later (2011/2013) and Al Jazira (2013/2014).He returned to Sampdoria in Italy (2015) and then again to the Middle East with Al-Shaab (2015/2016). In July 2016, Walter Zenga was appointed head coach of Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Football League Championship but without success. He signed again in Italy (Crotone 2017/2018) and took the responsibility of Serie B club Venezia since october 2018. At october 2018, he had already 483 matches as manager ! Walter Zenga had already coached in three continents and eight different countries, he is really a citizen of the World.