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Gianluca Zambrotta

Gianluca Zambrotta, Italian orders of merit, (born February 19, 1977) is an Italian people Association football who plays as a right back for Serie A club A.C. Milan. Gianluca Zambrotta plays either as a full-back defender (association football), or as a Winger (sport) for both club and country.

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Gianluca Zambrotta biography


Gianluca Zambrotta, Italian orders of merit, (born February 19, 1977) is an Italian people Association football who plays as a right back for Serie A club A.C. Milan. Gianluca Zambrotta plays either as a full-back defender (association football), or as a Winger (sport) for both club and country.

Club career

Como

Zambrotta started Gianluca Zambrotta career with Gianluca Zambrotta Como, Italy team Como Calcio at the age of 17 in 1994. In Gianluca Zambrotta first season with Como in Serie C Gianluca Zambrotta played only one game. In 1995, Como were relegated to the Serie B and Zambrotta started to play more regularly for the first team. In the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons, Gianluca Zambrotta made 47 appearances and scored 6 goals for Como.

Bari

In 1997, Zambrotta's Serie A career began when Gianluca Zambrotta 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 Gianluca Zambrotta 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, Gianluca Zambrotta scored the only goal of the game against S.S.C. 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, Gianluca Zambrotta scored the opening goal at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and helped Bari to win the game 3-2 against Internazionale Milano F.C.. In February 1999, the Italian Under-21 International was rewarded by the coach of Italy national football team, Dino Zoff, for Gianluca Zambrotta impressive displays. Gianluca Zambrotta earned Gianluca Zambrotta first cap (sport) in a friendly against Norway national football team. Gianluca Zambrotta became the first player of Bari to play for the national side in 50 years. Throughout the 1998-99 season, Gianluca Zambrotta made 32 appearances and scored four goals. Halfway through this season, Gianluca Zambrotta was brought to the most successful club in Italy, Juventus, by Carlo Ancelotti for €8 million and would play in the black-and-white jersey starting the season after.

Juventus

After the transfer to Juventus F.C., Zambrotta continued Gianluca Zambrotta upward momentum. Gianluca Zambrotta made 32 league appearances with one goal in the first season Gianluca Zambrotta played for Juventus. On 14 May 2000, the last match day of the season, Juventus missed out on the Scudetto as they were defeated 1-0 away at Perugia Calcio in the heavy rain while Lazio got the 3 points at home by beating Reggina Calcio 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.

In Gianluca Zambrotta second season for Juventus, 2000-01, Zambrotta made 29 league appearances and scored three goals. But Juventus finished once again in second place. Zambrotta won Gianluca Zambrotta first Scudetto in the season 2001-02, while Gianluca Zambrotta made 32 league appearances and scored one goal during the season.

After Zambrotta suffered an injury in the game against South Korea national football team during the Football World Cup 2002, Gianluca Zambrotta missed the beginning of the season 2002-03. During Gianluca Zambrotta absence, the new signing of Juventus Mauro Camoranesi took Gianluca Zambrotta place on the right wing and was in superb form. This prompted the coach Marcello Lippi to switch Zambrotta to the left-back when Gianluca Zambrotta returned to action. Zambrotta adapted to Gianluca Zambrotta new position very quickly and performed particularly well. Gianluca Zambrotta remained a regular first team player as Juventus won the second consecutive scudetto and reached the UEFA Champions League final, in which they were defeated by A.C. Milan in the penalty shoot-out after a goalless draw.

Zambrotta has won two Scudetti with Juventus (it was originally four, but the scudettos for 2004-05 and 2005-06 were stripped from the club due to the 2006 Serie A scandal), making a total of 185 league appearances and scoring seven goals in six seasons. In 2005-06, following the injury of Zebina, arrival of Chiellini and Gianluca Zambrotta successful switch with the national team, Zambrotta was again switched to the right-back. Since then, Zambrotta switched between right and left-back frequently throughout the season. In 2005, Zambrotta extended Gianluca Zambrotta contract to 2010 but, following Juventus' relegation to Serie B due to the 2006 Serie A scandal, Gianluca Zambrotta decided to leave the club in summer 2006 with A.C. Milan, Chelsea F.C., Real Madrid or FC Barcelona widely tipped to sign him. Gianluca Zambrotta was eventually transferred to Barcelona for €14 million. Gianluca Zambrotta signed a four-year contract with Barcelona, where Gianluca Zambrotta joined fellow Juventus defender Lilian Thuram.

FC Barcelona

On 4 August 2006, after Gianluca Zambrotta holiday following the World Cup, Zambrotta reported to Gianluca Zambrotta new club for the first time in Los Angeles, United States where FC Barcelona stayed for their pre-season tour in North America. Zambrotta's official debut in Barça shirt was on 17 August against local rivals Espanyol in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
On March 17, 2007 Gianluca Zambrotta scored Gianluca Zambrotta first goal for Barcelona in the league game against Recreativo Huelva. Gianluca Zambrotta also netted goals in matches against Atletico Madrid at Vicente Calderón Stadium (Atletico Madrid record home loss — 0-6) and Gimnastic Tarragona. By Gianluca Zambrotta own admission, Gianluca Zambrotta performance at Barcelona had been below-par.

Milan

On May 31, 2008, Zambrotta signed a 3-year contract with A.C. Milan. The club paid €9 million to FC Barcelona, with a potential €2million added on depending on Milan's performance in the Champions League, for Gianluca Zambrotta services.. Zambrotta will reportedly be earning €4 million per year. On September 21, 2008 Gianluca Zambrotta scored Gianluca Zambrotta first goal for Milan, from 31 metres in the league game against S.S. Lazio.
In the 2009-10 season, Zambrotta has mainly been playing at left back.

Italy national team

Under-21

Soon after Zambrotta was brought to Serie A, Gianluca Zambrotta got the attention of the Italy national football team. Gianluca Zambrotta was selected to play for the Italy national under-21 football team for the first time on March 25, 1998 against Malta national football team. In Gianluca Zambrotta second game for the U21 against Wales national football team on April 22 1998, Gianluca Zambrotta scored the 2nd goal of Italy on the 43rd minute and helped Italy to win the game 2-1. In 1998, Gianluca Zambrotta played in all six games of the Italy U21 while they won 5 of them and drew the last one against Spain.

It was on tour with the under 21's that Luca earned the nickname 'the Mermaid' for Gianluca Zambrotta allegedly spending one hour every night in front of the mirror grooming at Gianluca Zambrotta now trademark goatee. After some impressive displays for the U21 and the amazing start of the season Serie A 1998-99, Zambrotta earned Gianluca Zambrotta first cap on February 10, 1999, 9 days before Gianluca Zambrotta 22nd birthday, in an 0-0 friendly draw with Norway national football team.

2000 Summer Olympics

After the disappointing UEFA Euro 2000, Zambrotta was back with the U21 side for the Olympic Games in September. Gianluca Zambrotta started in games against Australia national football team and Honduras national football team that Italy won 1-0 and 3-1 respectively. Since Italy had already qualified for the quarter finals, the coach put Zambrotta on the bench for the last game against Nigeria national football team and substituted Gianluca Zambrotta on at the 80th minute. This would be the last time Gianluca Zambrotta played for the U21 national team, with a total of 13 U21-caps. Italy was defeated by Spain, who would go on to win the silver medal, by one goal in the quarter final in a game Zambrotta sat out.

Euro 2004

In 2003, after the retirement of Paolo Maldini from the national team and a successful switch to left-back with Juventus, Zambrotta became the first choice for this position in the national team. On 30 May 2004, Zambrotta scored Gianluca Zambrotta first ever international goal in the game against Tunisia. A Bernardo Corradi header was flapped out for Zambrotta's fierce volley into the roof of the net in the 89th minute while Italy won the game by 4-0. In Euro 2004, although the performance of Italy was largely disappointing and the team was eliminated at the group stage, Zambrotta was one of the few Italian players to be praised for Gianluca Zambrotta performances.

2006 World Cup

After two consecutive disappointing major tournaments, Trapattoni resigned as the coach of the Azzurri. The new coach for Italy was Marcello Lippi, who had just resigned as the Juventus coach to take over the Azzurri. At the end of 2005, as Lippi brought on many new faces for the squad, Gianluca Zambrotta once again switched Zambrotta's position - to the right-back this time.

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

During the Azzurri's final preparations for the World Cup, Zambrotta injured Gianluca Zambrotta left thigh during a training match at the national team's training base at Coverciano on 28 May 2006. Gianluca Zambrotta picked up the injury in a training match against an amateur team San Giminiano. This brought certain fears for the Italian squad and Lippi decided to keep Daniele Bonera on stand-by in case Zambrotta could not recover in time.

Scans on Zambrotta's thigh in the final days before Italy's first group match revealed that Gianluca Zambrotta would only miss the opening match.

Group stage

Italy began its World Cup journey against Ghana national football team on 12 June 2006. With the absence of Zambrotta, Italy won their opening game by 2-0. Zambrotta made Gianluca Zambrotta comeback in the second group match against United States men's national soccer (football) team on 17 June 2006 playing at the left-back position. This was Gianluca Zambrotta fifth appearance in the FIFA World Cup, in which Gianluca Zambrotta teammates Cristian Zaccardo scored an own goal and Daniele De Rossi got sent off for an elbowing offence. Italy's performance was disappointing as they just managed to draw 1-1 with the USA in spite of playing the entire second half with a one-man-advantage. Zambrotta played the whole match without ever excelling.

In their last group match against Czech Republic national football team on 22 June 2006, Italy needed only a draw to qualify from the group. After Zaccardo's poor performance in the previous match, Lippi decided to use Fabio Grosso instead; therefore Zambrotta was put on the right-back. With a one-man-advantage again and two goals from the substitutes Marco Materazzi and Filippo Inzaghi, Italy won 2-0 and qualified as group winners.

Stage 2

In the round of 16, Italy was facing the Group F runners up Australia national football (soccer) team on 26 June 2006. After playing two matches with a 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 courtesy of a 95th-minute penalty kick converted by Francesco Totti. Zambrotta again played the entire match on the right back position. Gianluca Zambrotta 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 Gianluca Zambrotta a suspension.

In the quarter-final on 30 June 2006, Italy was drawn against Ukraine national football team. Zambrotta started the game at the right-back. Gianluca Zambrotta scored the opening goal after only 6 minutes with a left-footed long-range shot after a beautiful one-two with Francesco Totti. This was Gianluca Zambrotta second goal for Gianluca Zambrotta country and the first one in a FIFA World Cup match. Zambrotta's outstanding performance continued as Gianluca Zambrotta saved Gianluca Zambrotta team by a goal-line clearance at the 58th minute. After Lippi made some substitutions, Zambrotta was pushed up to a left midfield position. Gianluca Zambrotta immediately showed the effect of this position switch. At the 69th minute, Gianluca Zambrotta dribbled down the left flank into the edge of the penalty area and passed the ball across to Luca Toni to score Gianluca Zambrotta second goal in the match. Italy won the game 3-0. In the semi-final on 4 July 2006, Italy was facing the hosts Germany national football team at Dortmund. Zambrotta started the match at right-back again. Neither of the teams were able to score in 90 minutes and the game went into extra time. In the 2nd minute of the extra time, right after teammate Alberto Gilardino hit the post in Gianluca Zambrotta attempt, Zambrotta had a strong shot on goal from outside the box. Although beating the German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, it struck the crossbar. When the game looked going into a penalty shoot-out, Italy scored 2 very late goals at the 119th and 121st minutes and won the game 2-0.

Final

On 9 July 2006, Zambrotta played Gianluca Zambrotta first major tournament final with the national team after Gianluca Zambrotta missed the Euro 2000 final. Coincidently, France national football team was Italy's opponents on both occasions. Italy conceded a penalty kick in the 7th minute, but it took just 12 minutes for Italy to equalize. The scoreline remained the same for the rest of the match and it went into a penalty shoot-out. Zambrotta was not called upon to take a penalty as five of Gianluca Zambrotta Italian teammates made their attempts, while one of the players from France failed to convert their spot kicks (David Trezeguet), resulting in Italy winning the shoot-out 5-3. This was the first World Cup victory for Zambrotta and the fourth for Gianluca Zambrotta country.

Zambrotta's ability to play in multiple positions on either flank contributes great flexibility to the Italian squad, and earned Gianluca Zambrotta a place in the 23 man 2006 World Cup All-Star squad.

Honours

Juventus

- Serie A: Serie A 2001-02, Serie A 2002-03
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2003 Supercoppa Italiana
- UEFA Intertoto Cup: UEFA Intertoto Cup 1999

FC Barcelona

- Supercopa de España: 2006

International

- FIFA World Cup: 2006 FIFA World Cup

Individual

- UEFA Euro 2004 2004 UEFA European Football Championship UEFA Team of the Tournament
- UEFA Team of the Year: 2006
- FIFPro World XI: 2006
- 2006 FIFA World Cup 2006 FIFA World Cup All star team

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gianluca_Zambrotta

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