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HomeTop LeaguesSerie A"Buffon is a legend", Italy great Walter Zenga discuss Gianluigi Buffon’s legacy

“Buffon is a legend”, Italy great Walter Zenga discuss Gianluigi Buffon’s legacy

Former Italy goalkeeper Walter Zenga says Gianluigi Buffon is a football legend following his retirement at age 45.

Walter Zenga, who mostly played for Inter Milan is a three-time winner of the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper Award. He is currently working as the director of development for Indonesian side Persita Tangerang.

In an interview with Corriere dello Sport, Zenga called Gianluigi Buffon a legend and discussed his legacy.

“I sent him a message. We’ll be in touch. A legend, not just another goalkeeper. I don’t know if he’s the greatest of all time, because I consider rankings to be false, but a man who has marked international football for a good 25 years. So, already beyond.

“A man who wins the world’s best goalkeeper award five times is a legend. But if 14 years passed between the first and fifth trophy, I say 14 years, then that means we are at the Monument.

“You think that I have won that award on three occasions, in 1989, 1990 and 1991. Draw your own conclusions. The athlete and also the character were immense.”

Zenga also was asked to name some of the best current goalkeepers in Italy.

“In the world, there are many on the same level and so it depends on preferences. In Italy, the school resists, although last year Maignan and Onana took the stage.

“But of ours, I think of Meret who won the league and did it with absolute mastery, transmitting tranquillity, or Vicario who earned himself a move to Tottenham. I like Audero, if I were Inter I would think about him.

“And then I am curious to see Caprile and Carnesecchi, who have already proved themselves. However, I should also add that Falcone and Di Gregorio have made their mark in their seasons at Lecce and Monza.”

Zenga who has worked as manager in the Middle East, Italy, and England also discussed his managerial career.

“Let’s say that I have never missed anything. I need to feel stress in all its forms. Every age offers a lot of it, I have tasted it as a player, as a coach and now I have settled into this new role, which gratifies me.

“I act as a buffer between the club and the coach, I oversee the construction of the training centre, I provide my knowledge of the organisation. There are things to do, and I don’t mind offering what I know. It’s not little, probably, considering that I’m now 63 years old.”

Zenga spoke about Luciano Spalletti’s decision to leave Napoli despite winning the Serie A.

“It is strange, however, that Spalletti is not on the bench, but you’ll see that he’ll be back soon, someone like him can’t remain a spectator. However, De Laurentiis has chosen the right heir, because Garcia is a great coach.”

Walter Zenga talked about his experience of working with the Saudi side Al-Nassr in 2010.

“Here, what is Ronaldo’s current club pushed me to say goodbye and resign, starting a dispute through FIFA. In six months, I never received a salary, which I obviously recovered later. Today it won’t happen again, we are on other levels as you can easily see.”

Former Inter star Zenga was also asked about the situation of Romelu Lukaku.

“Do you have an alternative question? Lukaku is a player who would go to Juve. And then Inter survive goodbyes. Me, the Fenomeno, Mourinho, just to name three, have left and they’re always a great club.”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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