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Top Facts About Gianluca Zambrotta, The Mermaid

Fri 04 June 2021 | 15:00

Gianluca Zambrotta is a former Italian full-back that pursued a coaching career. He is considered one of the best players of his generation. Read on to know more facts about Gianluca Zambrotta.

Full-backs and other defensive players are usually under appreciated. Most of the awards and attention go to strikers and other attacking players. Gianluca Zambrotta was one of the best Italian players of the 2000s. He has won Scudetto both with

Juventus

and

AC Milan

. Zambrotta was two seasons

Barcelona

player between Juventus and Milan. In Spain, he was a key player for Barcelona, but it wasn't like in Italy.

Zambrotta is a World Cup winner, too. He had 98 caps for Italy national team and they won the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. He was known for his remarkable stamina and long, fearless tackles. Zambrotta was capable of playing full-back on both sides. As a hard-working player, he helped his team to have balance in offense and defense. 

The followings are some lesser-known facts about Gianluca Zambrotta:

As a hard-working player, he helped every team he played in to have balance in offense and defense. 

Gianluca Zambrotta Early Life

The first fact about Gianluca Zambrotta's early life is that he was born on February 19, 1977, in Como. His hometown club,

Como

, was Zambrotta's first professional team. On May 27, 1995, he made his debut in a Serie B match against

Cesena

. Como relegated to Serie C. After one and a half season in Como, Zambrotta finally made his way into the starting line-ups. In 1996-97, he was a key player of the team and only missed one match. Zambrotta's talent wasn't unnoticed, even in the third tier of Calcio. In Como, Zambrotta capped 50, having scored six goals and provided three assists. 

Gianluca Zambrotta Personal Life

Speaking about Gianluca Zambrotta’s wife, he and Valentina Liguori started dating in 2003 and got married after two years. Valentina Liguori is an Italian model and she has a son with Gianluca. Their son Riccardo Zambrotta was born in August 2012. Zambrotta revealed in an interview that he has a passion for Italian design and engines, and also for the Vespa, a scooter he has always loved and collected. 

“I think the Vespa is a real icon of Italian design, one of the most widely admired. It’s a timeless object, famous all over the world. When you say Vespa, you say Italy, freedom, excellence, style, design. It’s a must: it would be difficult today not to have one, or at least want one!” He stated at the interview. 

Gianluca Zambrotta Club Career

After Como, Zambrotta wanted to go to

Bari

to higher the possibility of playing in the first division of the Italy’s league and that possibility came to life. Read on to find out how Zambrotta from Como reached the Serie A.

Bari

Eugenio Fascetti, the coach who got the Serie A promotion with Bari, spotted Zambrotta's talent. Zambrotta, in his first transfer, joined Bari to play in the top tier of Italian football. Zambrotta made his Serie A debut in the very first fixture against

Parma

. Parma was one of the most exciting teams at the time. Carlo Ancelotti was Parma's coach, who later became Zambrotta's coach in Juventus.

The first season at Bari, Zambrotta looked promising. His versatility allowed Fascetti to use him in various roles on the field. The main role Zambrotta had was a right midfielder. His ability to play the ball with both feet was the reason he was used on the left side as well, Zambrotta had powerful stamina and remarkable pace that was very useful in the attacks. In a matter of fact, he played as a striker in a few games. After two seasons and over 50 Serie A caps, he left Bari.

Juventus 

In 1999, Carlo Ancelotti, in his first transfer window, purchased many players. The most notable Juventus sign-ins were Edwin van der Sar and Gianluca Zambrotta. Ancelotti picked three defense formation for Juventus in most of the matches. Zambrotta was mainly a wingback and Ancelotti didn't use him in four defense formation as a full back. Gigi's fast runs and precise crosses were very suitable for the wingback role. He had a great dynamic, which is vital when the team has only three defenders, as well as having only one or two strikers.

Zambrotta used to wear number 23 in Juventus. In the 4th matchday, Zambrotta scored his first goal in a 4-1 win over Udinese. It was his only goal in 32 matches. Juventus lost the Serie A race to

Lazio

by only one point, but they won the UEFA Intertoto Cup that was the first silverware won by Zambrotta. Ancelotti favored four defender formations like 4-3-1-2 or 4-4-2 Diamond. Although Ancelotti didn't use Zambrotta as a full back, he got play time whenever a wingback or side midfielder was needed.

At the end of 2000-01, Juventus lost the close Scudetto race to the other Roman team,

AS Roma

. Marcello Lippi returned to Juventus to replace his own successor. Lippi set Juventus in a 4-4-2 formation. Zambrotta was the right midfielder in 4-4-2, especially when Lippi used two players in the number six role. He only missed two matches and one of them was for yellow cards he got suspended. Juventus eventually won the Scudetto, having Zambrotta, Tacchinardi, Davids, and Nedved as midfielders.

In 2002-03, Zambrotta took a more defensive role in Juventus and became a full-back in the 4-4-2 diamond formation. The right back position was filled by Lilian Thuram, so Zambrotta played the left back role. Juventus defended the Serie A title, but this time they secured the title weeks before the season ending. The fifth season of Zambrotta at Juventus didn’t have any trophies.

In 2004-05 Fabio Capello replaced Lippi in Juventus. Capello's tactics were similar to Lippi's. Zambrotta had become the crucial left-back while he was originally right-footed. 2004-05 and 2005-06 both ended with Juventus leading on Serie A table but after it turned out Juventus was involved in the Calciopoli scandal, those two titles were stripped.

Due to the Calciopoli scandal consequences, Juventus had to start the 2006-07 season in Serie B. Capello went from Juventus to

Real Madrid

and took Fabio Cannavaro and Emerson with himself. Gianluca Zambrotta and Lilian Thuram were transferred to Barcelona. After seven years, Gigi and Juventus separated.

Barcelona

In 2006 Zambrotta joined European and La Liga champions Barcelona. Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Sylvinho were the rotating left-backs in the line-ups, while Zambrotta was the first pick most of the time as a right-back. In his first season in La Liga, he capped 29 times and scored three goals. One of the goals was for the 6-0 victory over

Atletico Madrid

. Zambrotta scored the second goal of the match with an assist from Thuram.  

In the second season, Zambrotta capped in the same amount of matches as the first season, except that he didn’t score any goals. After two years in Barcelona and winning the Spanish Super Cup, Zambrotta returned to Italy.

AC Milan

In May 2008, Zambrotta went to Milan to be Cafu's successor. Milan's manager was Ancelotti, who worked with Zambrotta in Juventus. Ancelotti finally used Zambrotta as his regular right-back. At the end of 2008-09, Ancelotti left Milan and Leonardo replaced him. Milan hired Ignazio Abate from

Torino

, who became Zambrotta's rival for the starting line-ups. Zambrotta's caps dropped and Abate was Leonardo's first choice, however, Zambrotta's skills and experience came in handy.

Milan didn’t continue with Leonardo for another season. They brought the young manager of

Cagliari

to be in charge of Milan's squad. Allegri did great in his debut season and Zambrotta became his choice as the left-back. Despite a severe injury that occurred to Zambrotta, he'd play 90 minutes whenever he was available.

At the end of the season, Zambrotta was honored to win the Serie A title with Milan, too. Gigi's physical attributes started to decline and he lost his spot on the pitch. At the end of the 2011-12 campaign, Milan said farewell to some of their Veterans. Alongside Filippo Inzaghi, Mark van Bommel, Alessandro Nesta, and Gennaro Gattuso, Zambrotta was one of the epic players approaching the end of his playing career.

Gianluca Zambrotta International Career

Just like his club career, Zambrotta was played in almost every corner of the field for Azzurri. Gianluca first called up for the Italy under-21 national team. His performances at Bari brought him to the national team. He was part of the

Italy national team

in the 2000 Olympics. Euro 2000 was the first major international tournament for Zambrotta. He played in the first two group stage matches that ended with Italy winning and advancing to the next round.

Zambrotta rested for the knockout round. In the quarter and semi finals Italy won while Zambrotta capped in both matches but got suspended and missed the final. In the final, Italy was defeated by

France

. 2002 FIFA World Cup was the next competition Zambrotta was in the starting line-up. Italy was eliminated by the host

South Korea

in one of the most controversial matches. In Euro 2004, Zambrotta turned left-back.

Before that, he used to play as a left midfielder. 2006 World Cup was the peak of Zambrotta's international career. After he watched the first fixtures from the bench, he didn’t miss a minute until the final and in the end he was rewarded a precious World Cup trophy. Zambrotta was the crucial right back for Azzurri in Euro 2008, 2009 Confederations Cup, and 2010 World Cup.

In 2010, Zambrotta announced his retirement from the national team. He capped in 98 matches for Azzurri, making him the team's eighth most capped player of all time. It is a relatively high number because Italy always has plenty of top defenders.

Gianluca Zambrotta Managerial Career

One of the facts about Gianluca Zambrotta is that after retirement, he went back to Como and began training with them in 2012. A year later, he got his UEFA pro coaching license and then signed with the Swiss club

Chiasso

with an option to become a player-assistant manager during his second season with the club under Ernestino Ramella. Zambrotta was named player-manager and at the end of the season he helped Chiasso avoid relegation. He continued to manage Chiasso the following season but was eventually sacked on April 6, 2015.

Later he became the manager of the Indian Super League club Delhi Dynamos. After 18 games, they mutually agreed on his resignation and Zambrotta joined

Jiangsu Suning

in 2017 as an assistant manager for the 2017-18 season. 

Gianluca Zambrotta Stats

At the beginning of his senior career, Zambrotta played three seasons in the local club Como from 1994 to 1997. In his first season, Como was relegated to Serie C1, and he only went on the pitch in one game. But in the next two seasons, he played in 50 games in all the competitions as a winger or a wide midfielder and scored six goals. 

After that, he joined Bari, which was enjoying its promotion to Serie A. In two seasons for Bari, he became their main left wing, playing in 55 games and scoring eight goals in both league and Coppa Italia. Carlo Ancelotti from Juventus saw his performance and made his transfer happen in 1999 to Juventus. He played in 294 games in seven seasons and scored 11 goals in all the competitions, winning two Serie A championships, a Supercoppa Italiana title, and the UEFA Intertoto cup.

After that, Zambrotta joined Barcelona to play in a different league for the first time. In two seasons at Barca, he had 80 caps in all the competitions and scored three goals. After two not really good years, Zambrotta came back to Italy to join AC Milan. At his last club, he played in four seasons, with 102 caps in all the competitions as a right or left back, and scored two goals. 

At the international level, he played in Italy national team from 1999 to 2010 in 98 games, mostly as a right or left back, and scored two goals. His first ever goal for Italy was in the 89’s minute of the friendly game against Tunisia in 2004. The second was at the 2006 Germany World Cup, in the quarter final against Ukraine, which at the end of the competition they won the FIFA World Cup. 

After retirement, Zambrotta was the manager of Chiasso in two seasons with a 27.08% win ratio and after that for 18 games in Delhi Dynamos with a 38.89% win ratio. 

Some Quick Facts About Gianluca Zambrotta

About 

Gianluca Zambrotta's age

, it should be mentioned that he was born on February 19, 1977, so till now, he has 44 years of age. He is regarded as one of the Italy’s greatest full backs who excelled both at offensive and defensive play. Physical power and stamina were his best qualities. In Bari, he was an offensive winger, then Carlo Ancelotti deployed him as a right back in a five man defense, and later he was a left back at Marcello Lippi four man defense. 

Zambrotta has 98 caps for Italy national team at three FIFA world cups, three UEFA European Championships, the 2000 summer Olympics, and the 2009 FIFA confederations cup from 1999 to 2010. A fact about Zambrotta is that in 2000 he was decorated as the Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and in 2006 he was made an Officer of the same order. 

In 2007, he was named the honorary president of his hometown club, Como, which he played in for three seasons at the first of his senior career. In 2014 he opened a fitness complex in Como called the Eracle Sports Centre. 

One of the

facts about Gianluca Zambrotta

is that in 2012 he worked as a pundit for the Swiss-Italian broadcasting station RSI, and in an interview he revealed that he purchased a house near Dublin and is open to the idea of playing in Ireland’s Airtricity League.

Another fact about Gianluca Zambrotta is that after 20 years of being a professional footballer in Como, Bari, Juventus, Barcelona, Milan, and Chiasso, he became manager and assistant manager for three clubs from 2013 to 2018 in Swiss, India, and China. 

Gianluca Zambrotta Social Media

About 

Gianluca Zambrotta's social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an official Instagram page (@gianlucazambrotta) and he shares lots of photos and updates with his followers. He is really popular on Instagram and his page has about 206k followers. He doesn’t seem to have an official Twitter account or it might be private. 

Gianluca Zambrotta Body Measurement

About 

Gianluca Zambrotta's body measurements

, it should be mentioned that there is no information on his body measurements, but he stands 1.81 m tall.

Gianluca Zambrotta Honors

  • 5th Class / Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: (2000)

  • UEFA Euro 2004: Team of the Tournament

  • UEFA Team of the Year: 2006

  • FIFPro World XI: 2006

  • 2006 FIFA World Cup: All-Star Team

  • 4th Class / Officer: Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: (2006)

  • CONI: Golden Collar of Sports Merit: Collare d'Oro al Merito Sportivo: (2006)

Gianluca Zambrotta Net Worth & Salary

In 1999, Zambrotta transferred from Bari to Juventus with a $8.8 million fee, at the age of 22. His highest market value was in 2004, when he was playing for Juventus. In 2006, at the age of 29, he moved to Barcelona with a fee of $15.4 million when Juventus was in Serie B. Then, after two years, he moved to AC Milan with $11.55 million. In Milan, Zambrotta would reportedly be earning €4 million per year.

Speaking about 

Gianluca Zambrotta’s net worth and salary

, it has been estimated that he has a net worth of 3.5 million approximately at the age of 44, and there is no information about his salary.

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