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  • Fri 14 Dec 2018, 19 : 30 - Arabian Gulf League

Happy Birthday Walter Zenga

Abu Dhabi: 28 April 2014
The Italian manager of Al Jazira team celebrated his 54th birthday today the 28th of April, as he received special gift from his players, which was their victory over Bani Yas in last Sunday derby, the victory that took the team from the 6th position to the 4th in the league table.
The legend of Italian football and global goalkeeping was born in Milano, Italy in April 28 1960, and started his professional football career with the youth of the Italian giants Inter Milan; he has been sent in loan to some lower division clubs, and when he gained the necessary experience and maturity he came back and joined the first football team of Inter.
He achieved a lot of success with the Nerazzurri, he won with them the league title in 1989 and the Super Cup in the same year, and they also won the UEFA Cup in 1991 and 1994; and personally he has been crowned as best player in Italy in 1987, and the best goalkeeper in Europe in 1990, and the best goalkeeper in the world according to The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) in 1989, 1990 and 1991.
These successes granted a place for Zenga in the Italian National Team, and he participated in the 1990 World Cup and kept clean sheet in first five consecutive matches, and accepted only two goals in the semi-final and the third place decider games, and won the Bronze in that finals. He also led the Azzurri to the 4th place in Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, and to the semi-final of EURO 1988.
After he left Inter Milan, he spent successful seasons with Sampdoria and Padova in Italy, and quit playing football in USA with New England Revolution in 1999. 

Zenga, whose nickname was the Spider, couldn’t keep himself away from football, and developed a successful career as football manager; he managed National Bucharest and Steaua Bucharest in Romania, and led the latter to win league title, then went to Serbia and coached Red Star Belgrade to win the league and cup double in 2005 – 2006, he went home to Italy and manager Catania and Palermo, and when he came to Arabian Gulf Region he manager Al Nasr in KSA, and Al Ain and Al Nasr in UAE, and led Al Nasr to third place and Asian Champions League for the first time in their history.

In the 26th of October 2013, Al Jazira Football Company appointed Walter Zenga as a coach for the first football team instead of the Spanish Luis Milla, and during his short time with the Pride of Abu Dhabi, Zenga managed to reconstruct the team character, and helped the players to retrieve the team quality and the fighting spirit, and led them from the 8th position to the 3rd and they were very close to the leader Al Ahli, and also they qualified to the final of the Arabian Gulf Cup.
In AFC Champions League, Zenga managed to take Al Jazira to the 16 Round through strong group consisted of Al Shabab KSA, Esteghlal Iran and Al Rayyan Qatar, and now they will face Al Ain looking for a spot in the quarter finals of the competition.

Zenga have strong character and he is always developing strong bonds with his players, and he also developed friendly relationship with media, and kept always expressing his love to UAE and its people, and that he is consider it his second home, and he will stay in the country even after he quit football.