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Walter Zenga

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWalter•Zenga
Used nameWalter•Zenga
Born28 April 1960 in Milano, Milano (ITA)
Measurements182 cm / 74 kg
AffiliationsInter, Milano (ITA)
NOC(s) Italy


Goalkeeper Walter Zenga was, for many years, regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world, and was voted the World’s Best Goalkeeper by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) in 1989, 1990 and 1991. In 2000, the IFFHS ranked him 20th in the “Best World Goalkeeper of all Time” poll.

Zenga started his career at Macallesi, before joining Internazionale as an 11-year-old in 1971. He started his professional career in 1978 and had loan spells at Salernitana, Savona and Sambenedettese, before breaking into the Inter Milan first team in 1982, when he soon became the first-choice goalkeeper, playing 328 matches in 12 years. Zenga helped Inter win Serie A in 1988/89, the Italian Super Cup in 1989, and the UEFA Cup in 1991 and 1994.

Having played one game at the 1984 Olympics, Zenga went on to keep 41 clean sheet in 58 appearances for the senior national team between 1987-92. He played in the 1986 and 1990 FIFA World Cups, winning a bronze medal in the second of those years, when he also set a world record of going 518 minutes without conceding a goal, a record still standing more than 28 years later. Zenga also played at Euro ‘88.

Zenga left Inter Milan in 1994, and then had spells at Sampdoria and Padova, before ending his career in the USA with New England Revolution. After retiring as a player, Zenga turned to management, firstly as player-manager of the Revolution, and was then much-travelled, taking charge of clubs in Italy, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and England. Having chalked up over 500 matches as a player, he added nearly 500 more to that total thanks to his managerial career in eight countries across three continents. After his playing days, he briefly appeared in an Italian soap opera, and was also a TV football pundit.


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1984 Summer Olympics Football (Football) Football, Men Olympic Italy 4 Representing Italy