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Gianluca Zambrotta

Real name:
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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1 Senior club appearances and goalscounted for the domestic league only andcorrect as of 26 September 2007.2 National team caps and goals correctas of 12 September 2007.* Appearances (Goals)

In 1997, Zambrotta's Serie A career began when his great potential was spotted by the A.S. Bari boss Eugenio Fascetti. Zambrotta was snapped up by Fascetti after Bari had won promotion to the Serie A. In his first year in the top flight, Zambrotta played on the left wing and scored two goals in 27 appearances. In the 1998-99 season, following the departure of Nicola Ventola, Zambrotta exploded on to the scene. In Week 1, he scored the only goal of the game against Venezia after just 9 minutes into the first half. Zambrotta continued to shine and was the key figure for Bari's surprise start to the campaign. In Week 7, he scored the opening goal at San Siro and helped Bari to win the game 3-2 against Inter. In February 1999, the Italian Under-21 International was rewarded by the coach of Italy, Dino Zoff, for his impressive displays. He earned his first cap in a friendly against Norway. He became the first player of Bari to play for the national side in 50 years. Throughout the 1998-99 season, he made 32 appearances and scored four goals. Halfway through this season, he was brought to the most successful club in Italy, Juventus, by Carlo Ancelotti for €15.85M and would play in the black-and-white jersey starting the season after.

After the transfer to Juventus, Zambrotta continued his upward momentum. He made 32 league appearances with one goal in the first season he played for Juventus. On 14th May 2000, the last match day of the season, Juventus missed out on the Scudetto as they were defeated 1-0 away at Perugia in the heavy rain while Lazio got the 3 points at home by beating Reggina 3-0 and overcame Juventus with 1 point. Zambrotta was brought on in the second half in that game and was later given a red card by the referee Pierluigi Collina.

After some impressive displays for the U21 and the amazing start of the season 1998-99, Zambrotta earned his first cap on 10 February 1999, 9 days before his 22nd birthday. Despite a 0-0 draw in this friendly against Norway, Zambrotta played well throughout the game.

In the Lippi era, Zambrotta remains one of the core players in the team. He featured in eight of the ten FIFA World Cup European qualification matches to help Italy qualify as the group winner. He earned 52 caps as of May 2006 before the FIFA World Cup takes place in Germany. On 15 May 2006, Zambrotta was chosen as one of the 23 players to participate in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and he played well.

In the round of 16, Italy was facing the Group F runners up Australia on 26 June 2006. After playing two matches with an one-man-advantage, Italy were playing with 10 men this time in the second half as Materazzi was sent off at the 50th minute. They went on to win the game 1-0 with a 95th-minute penalty kick. Zambrotta again played the entire match on the right back position. He got a yellow card at the 46th minute for bringing the ball away after committing a foul, which meant any booking in the remaining games would bring him a suspension.


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