|Full Name : Gianluca Pagliuca
Date Of Birth: December 18, 1966
Place of Birth: Bologna, Italy
Height: 190 cm
National Career: 1991-1998
Caps: 39 (0)
Gianluca Pagliuca (born December 18, 1966 in Bologna) is an Italian football goalkeeper. He is rated along with Dino Zoff, Walter Zenga, Angelo Peruzzi, Gianluigi Buffon and Francesco Toldo as one of the greatest Italian keepers of the past 30 years.
In his club career, Pagliuca has played for Sampdoria (1987-94), Inter (1994-99), Bologna (1999-2006), and currently plays at Serie A club Ascoli . He won the Cup Winners' Cup and one Scudetto with Sampdoria and the UEFA Cup with Inter, when he captained the side to a 3-0 win over Lazio in 1998. Pagliuca was also in the Sampdoria's team that lost 1-0 to Barcelona in the 1992 European Cup final at Wembley. He was first choice goalkeeper for Italy at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups.
He became the first goalkeeper to be sent off in a World Cup match, when he was dismissed for handling outside his area against Norway at the 1994 tournament in the USA. However, he returned after suspension to feature from the quarter-finals onwards with his team losing to Brazil in a dramatic penalty shootout in the final. One of the most enduring images from that World Cup came from Pagliuca himself, in the final. After spilling a shot which bounced off a post and back in to his grateful grasp, Pagliuca turned and blew the post a kiss, puffing out his cheeks in relief that the ball hadn't gone in.
After the 1994 World Cup, he moved from Sampdoria to Internazionale from a then world record fee for a goalkeeper of £7 million. However, Pagliuca's international career appeared to have been halted with the emergence of Juventus goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi, and it would be 3 years before he returned to the Italy squad. The 1998 Serie A season saw Pagliuca's Inter pushing Juventus F.C. all the way for the Scudetto, with Pagliuca producing superb performances week in, week out. However, he would have gone the World Cup that summer only as a back-up but for an arm injury to Peruzzi just prior to the tournament.
Peruzzi's misfortune meant that Pagliuca would be given another chance with Italy. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands, displaying an assurity that had previously been lacking when he had represented the national team. He made one of the saves of the tournament, again against Norway, when he shot out a hand to prevent Tore André Flo's point-blank header from netting. This time, his team met host country France in the quarter-final, and another penalty shoot-out saw Italy go out as losers when midfielder Luigi Di Biagio smashed his penalty against the crossbar. Once again Pagliuca seemed to fall out of favour with the Italian bosses, and the emergence of Francesco Toldo and Gianluigi Buffon, saw his career with Italy end on 39 caps.
Pagliuca left Inter in 1999, after the former Juventus boss Marcello Lippi took charge of Inter and signed Peruzzi from his former club. Pagliuca took this opportunity to achieve a life's ambition, and signed with his home town club, Bologna, establishing himself as first-choice keeper and often captaining the side. After Bologna relegated to Serie B in 2004/2005, Pagliuca stayed with the club, despite at the time being close to the Serie A record of appearances held by Paolo Maldini.
On June 29, 2006, Ascoli Calcio 1898 announced that Pagliuca, aged 40, had signed a one-year contract with the team. On September 17, Pagliuca set the record for most Serie A appearances for a goalkeeper, overtaking Dino Zoff, as he started for Ascoli against F.C. Messina Peloro. He is seven appearances behind AC Milan star Paolo Maldini in the list of players with the most Serie A appearances.
For Sampdoria Pagliuca saved a penalty and played very well against Inter Mialn a side containing World CUp champions Matheus and Klinsman coached by Italy's most successful coach Trapotoni. It was 5 Maggio 1991, the day Sampdoria won the Italian Serie A .
Because of his colourful name, former ESPN announcer Keith Olbermann used his name as a creative way of airing someone cursing on camera in the midst of an argument with an official. The phrase began when fellow announcer Gary Miller uttered an obscene word while trying to pronounce Pagliuca's name in disgust while recording a voiceover on a segment about the 1994 World Cup. In the book "The Big Show: Inside ESPN's SportsCenter" (published in 1997), Olbermann reminded us "We'll spare you which expletive."
Serie A: 1990-91
Cup Winner's Cup: 1989-90
Coppa Italia: 1982-83
UEFA Cup: 1997-98
Italy National Team
FIFA World Cup Runner-up: 1994