Summer 1967: The then 25-year-old Dino Zoff finishes his military service in Bologna and must be after Naples. So to the new club, on Mantova had surprisingly sold him after Zoff already appeared at the AC Milan.
The engines lovers broke with his Giulia about 600 kilometers over the Autostrada del Sole, which had been completed several years before – a symbol of the upswing of Italy. This journey is the symbol of a man who crossed the 20th century – and met great personalities. From Enzo Ferrari to President Sandro Pertini, by Pope Wojtyla (John Paul II) to sporty or musical sizes such as Muhammad Ali and Luciano Pavarotti, just to name a few.
In addition, a World Championship at the age of forty years, a European Championship (1968) as well as many years in Udine, Mantua, Naples and Turin – and eleven years in the gate, without ever missing ever. On top of that successes as coach (Juve, Lazio, Italy).
Achievements made Zoff beyond his eighty years to legend. An Italian Torwartikones born on 28 February 1942 in the northern Mariano del Friuli, which has never revealed their rural culture, even if they lived in the “Eternal City” Rome for over thirty years.
A life of a big and now 80-year-old footballer consisting of simple things.
And now a conversation about healthy ruffles, Alibis, Diego Maradona or today’s Azzurri.
What do you give your grandchildren on the way?
I never repeat me. One says things once, then the education is lived in the behavior that is lived. The children have to understand it in this way. In my house, education was inhaled as if they were in the air. Limits that could not be exceeded, you learned intuitively. Nowadays, you may want to pack young people too much in cotton wool. With their technological crims, they seem to master the world, but I’m afraid that they do not really know the real life. Sometimes you will help you a healthy ruffle to grow up without looking for excuses or loopholes.
was dad Mario hard?
In the right dimensions. His lifelong teachings are engraved in me. For example, he heard me commented me in the first years of my career, I had been surprised by a shot. He told me completely bluntly: Are you a pharmacist? If you are in the goal, then to hold. Do not look for Alibis!
They look back on a flawless career.
Education I have taken over more and more responsibility when I had. I was self-critical because I was used to having to have many circumstances next to the right. At the same time, football never meant a victim, but only pure, immense happiness.
Has the World Cup profit in 1982 immortal: the long-term number 1 goalkeeper Dino Zoff. Getty Images
The first big sporty disappointment?
Not to be called into the junior national team for the European Championship in Portugal. I was 17 years old, played for Udinese, and the “Gazzetta dello Sport” wrote, my vocation would be safe. The association had even reported because of the ID card. It was the first time I had a passport, that was not easy. I ran proudly like Oskar in Mariano del Friuli and people even recognized me. Then came the cadolship and my name was not there. I was ashamed and did not let me look in place. That was a lesson that succeeded me. Later I got a foolish foolish…
1978, after the World Cup, I was massacred. I was 36 years old, and because of the goals I had cashed out of the distance to Holland and Brazil, it was even written, I would have vision. That was a bad insult. As if she would say a journalist that he did not control the grammar. An attack on my reputable professionalism. The situation weighed so hard that I thought to stop.
Luckily they did not do that, and four years later (1982) they won the World Cup.
I never wandered a little or made things despite. My philosophy has always been to deliver the best possible in the here and now.
The same philosophy that they prompted in 2000 to Silvio Berlusconis verbal attack to resign from the coach office of the Azzurri.
That was a very natural reaction. My credibility was questioned and in the environment no one defended the honorability of my office. At that moment I realized that I could not fill this task anymore – and have never regretted this decision later.
Ambitious and friendly at the same time – and the big predecessor of the Gianluigi Buffon: Dino Zoff (here with Berti Vogts). Imago Images / Sportfoto Rudel
You do not like to look back. But look at at least old games?
Rarely. Lately, I recently viewed Italy against Argentina at the 1982 World Cup. It was the crowning of our team spirit, the turning point to the World Cup triumph.
They met there on Diego Maradona.
He did not manage to explode at that World Cup. His potential is approached, but his real genius experienced all later. I remember that my friend was Castellini, the goalkeeper coach in Naples, told how Diego shot in training with the shoulder towers and the ball gave the ball an incredible magic. I understand that it is difficult for the Neapolitans of that time today to go to the stadium. They saw something unique and unworthonable in those years.
With Napoli I did it into the national team and gained the European Championship in 1968 – actually I never wanted to go away..
Naples has changed your life a little?
Definitely, I hang very much on the city and have many friends there. I almost happened there, because I already landed at Milan. A stroke of luck, because in Naples I changed. I wrote my excessive shyness that looked more like secreting on others. I became mature there. With Napoli I made it into the national team and won the European Championship in 1968 – actually I never wanted to go away. I remember that my teammates at the beginning said I should greet the spectators before kick-off. I found that difficult because it happened to me like attachment. When I raised his arm for the first time, she reacted with a loud roar, and I realized that it was a sign of respect for these people. After that, it became the ritual – so much that every time I returned with Juventus, I greeted the Tifosi and applauded me. The Neapolitans know that I have always respected them – and relations remained intense today.
Since their childhood, their passion has also been the engines: Have you ever dreamed of becoming Formula 1 driver?
That was impossible because there was no television and therefore no pictures had to dream. To see a race, I’m from Mantova, where I played at the time, secretly drove to Monza: It was the Mille Miglia in 1966, and I remember the drivers and the engines of the race. When I was a teenager, there was not even Panini pictures. I contented myself to leaf and dream in the magazine “Il Calcio Illustrato”.
I do not like exaggerated possession, that takes the fun of the competition, it gets boring and I turn on the TV on another channel.
As a trainer, they accounted for at Juve and also in the national team good results: Why does the Calcio of Zoff not lead a trademark like that of other coaches?
I do not interest me that way. For me there are no labels, but just football – you try to beat the opponent with all agents that are allowed and provided in the rules. I do not like an exaggerated possession, that takes the fun of the competition, it gets boring and I turn on the TV on another channel. In addition, I never understand when people say: The team has played well, but lost. Of course, that can happen, but if you win, that means, you have played better. Period. And what does already mean to play aesthetically good, if you often lose? It means that this kind does not work and you have to change them.
I’m just Dino, every day.
Will Italy participate in the World Cup?
I hope so. The Azzurri must find the balance of the last European Championship, which is not easy in the middle of the season. But I have trust in Roberto Mancini.
Also made headlines as a trainer – and does not last long with last on: Legend Dino Zoff. Bongarts / Getty Images
When did you feel the most like Zoff?
I’m just Dino, every day. But if I should remember a special moment, then I think of the award of the century athletes in 1999 in Vienna. On the side of Muhammad Ali, Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz and other sizes of the 20th century.
You let your career review and…
… I think of Gaetano Scirea (Libero Legend at Juventus and also World Champion 1982; Note d. Red.) And all the others who are no longer among us. But there are fantastic memories, no sadness.
What did you go through your head when you lay isolated in a clinic seven years ago, with legs that no longer reacted?
It may seem strange, but respect for nature is holy for me. I thought my moment had come. Just like in my youth, when we lost a cow or another important animal. You can not stop the course of nature, you have to accept it. Fear? No. The sport has taken me the fear of having no life’s life.