Full Name: Angelo Peruzzi
Date Of Birth: February 16, 1970
Place of Birth: Viterbo, Italy
National Career: 1995-2006
Caps: 31 (0)
Angelo Peruzzi, (born February 16, 1970 in Viterbo) is a former Italian World Cup-winning football goalkeeper.
The diminutive Peruzzi began his Serie A career with A.S. Roma in 1987. He was loaned to Hellas Verona in 1989, but was suspended for a year in October 1990 after failing a doping test because an appetite suppressant he was taking at the time contained a banned substance. His signing with Juventus in 1991 successfully revived his career, and he soon surpassed Stefano Tacconi as the Turin giants' starting goalie. Peruzzi won three Scudetti, a UEFA Cup, and was part of Juventus' 1996 Champions League title squad that defeated AFC Ajax in the final on penalties. After one season with Inter Milan, he transferred to Lazio for €17.9 million in 2000, and made over 200 appearances in Serie A and European competition with the club.
Although his contract with the Biancocelesti ran until 2008, Peruzzi announced that he would call it quits at the end of the '06-07 season after Lazio's 0-0 draw with Cagliari on October 15, 2006. "I will retire at the end of the campaign," he said. "I know the Lazio president and fans will not be happy but had I not made this decision, I would remain at the club for another six or eight years." He later backtracked on this decision, claiming that his comments were a joke and that it was premature to talk about retirement at this early stage of the season, emphasizing that his potential retirement was being considered "one season at a time."
After the 0-0 draw with Roma April 29, 2007, Peruzzi confirmed that he had indeed played his last match due to the frustration of nagging injuries, but he was put on for the final few minutes in Lazio's final home match of the season, a goalless draw against Parma F.C. on May 20, as a goodbye to the fans. He has since decided to stay on at Lazio in an administrative role.
Peruzzi was capped 31 times in 11 years with Italy. He was also a member of the national squad that competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and Euro 96. He was scheduled to be the starter at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, but suffered a late injury and was replaced by Gianluca Pagliuca. He momentarily left the national team in 1999 after a match against Norway, but returned to the Azzurri the following year, with whom he hoped to start at Euro 2000, but a last-minute injury once again cost him the starting spot as Francesco Toldo led the team to the final.
Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni wanted to call up Peruzzi as the third goalkeeper in the squad for the 2002 World Cup, but Peruzzi refused, saying, "The mascots for the World Cup have already been chosen." Two years later, though, he was called up as the second keeper behind Gianluigi Buffon at Euro 2004. He didn't start for Italy again until a friendly against Spain on April 28, 2004, then was the first choice for a pair of WC qualifiers against Scotland and Belarus in August 2005 while Buffon was shelved with a shoulder injury.
Peruzzi served as understudy to Buffon again in the 2006 FIFA World Cup as Italy captured their fourth crown. He retired permanently from international play after the conclusion of the tournament.
"I made this decision [to retire] in January. Not only was this my last Rome derby, but it could well be my last game in Serie A. I am going to retire...I don't believe I will play the remaining matches this season. I've already had to have an injection three times in one of my fingers because of a fracture. I can't continue with them."
"He has won everything and has reached the highest levels, from a technical point of view and as to his prestige as well. Angelo is a key player and a reference point for all our men. If he decided to quit, and I still hope it isn’t true, then it means that he really cannot stand the pain and injuries any more." -- Lazio coach Delio Rossi
"I have known Angelo for a long time and we have shared many things together. This is a sad day for the fans and I because he represented Italian football. He is a fantastic person and a great goalkeeper. Together we have been through the last World Cup and the European Championship in Portugal. Every now and then I thought that having a ‘keeper like him on the bench was a waste. He is a true great on and off the pitch, and even if I was the regular in the Nazionale I felt sorry for him. It’s so unfair that someone like him never had the chance to play a full World Cup. The truth after all is this – he never played a World Cup as first choice and I believe Angelo fully deserved it." -- Gianluigi Buffon
"Angelo Peruzzi [...] was one of the secrets of our [2006 World Cup] success. Only a man of great experience and character can act like him.” -- Italy teammate Daniele De Rossi
Seria A: 1994-95, 1996-97, 1997-98 (3 Titles)
Coppa Italia: 1994-95
Supper Coppa Italiana: 1995, 1997 (2 Titles)
UEFA Champions League: 1995-96
UEFA Cup: 1994-95
European Super Cup: 1996
International Cup: 1996
Italy National Team
FIFA World Cup: 2006
Peruzzi served as a ballboy, at the age of fourteen, during the 1984 European Cup final between Liverpool FC and AS Roma.
The transfer fee for his move to Lazio was the record high for a goalie until Azzurri teammate Buffon's €52.29 million transfer from Parma FC to Juventus the following year.