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BORN:  FEB. 28, 1942 
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES:  3 tournaments  ('74, '78, '82) 
CLUBS: Udinese, Mantova, Napoli, Juventus 

INTRODUCTION:  Captain of 1982 World Cup winning team.  The greatest Italian goalkeeper since Combi and one of the greatest ever.
1974 World Cup - West Germany
In 1970, Zoff travelled to Mexico with the national team for the World Cup.  But he started and remained an understudy to regular goalkeeper Albertosi and did not play in the tournament at all.   However, four years later, he had established himself as the first choice keeper.  Zoff played in all Italy's three first round games and was unfortunate not to go further, Italy finished third in the group, edged out by Argentina on goal-difference.  Zoff let in fewer goals than the South American team but Italy's attack also scored fewer than Argentina.  

1978 World Cup - Argentina
In the 1978 tournament, Zoff was named captain and Italy played better than they did four years ago.  The Azzurri progressed to the second round and was competing for a place in the final.  However, in the last game against Holland, Zoff let in a long range strike by Arie Haan.  Italy had to settle for a third place playoff, which they lost to Brazil, Zoff again deceived by a lon-range effort - this time an extraordinary swerving shot from Brazil's Nelinho.

Because of Zoff's mistakes in the previous tournament, Zoff was severely criticized in his own country.  However, the veteran goalkeeper played well enough that although he was 40 when the 1982 World Cup came around, he was still the first choice goalkeeper and was again captain.  He played superbly against Brazil, denying the waves of Samba attack.  Zoff became the oldest man ever to have won the World Cup when Italy beat West Germany in the Final.

Oldest man to win the World Cup (at 40 years of age in 1982)
Oldest captain of a World cup winning team (at 40 years of age in 1982).


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