Gianluca Pagliuca

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Gianluca Pagliuca
Gianluca Pagliuca.jpg
Gianluca Pagliuca with Sampdoria in 1989
Personal information
Full name Gianluca Pagliuca
Date of birth (1966-12-18) 18 December 1966 (age 48)
Place of birth Bologna, Italy
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1984–1986 Bologna
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1994 Sampdoria 198 (0)
1994–1999 Internazionale 165 (0)
1999–2006 Bologna 248 (0)
2006–2007 Ascoli 23 (0)
Total 634 (0)
National team
1990–1998 Italy 39 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

Gianluca Pagliuca (Italian pronunciation: [dʒanˈluka paʎˈʎuka]; born 18 December 1966 in Bologna) is a retired Italian football goalkeeper who is currently working as a commentator for Mediaset Premium. Throughout his career, he played for Sampdoria, Inter, Bologna, and Ascoli in Italy, winning several domestic and international trophies. At international level, he represented Italy at three FIFA World Cups (1990, 1994, and 1998), most notably reaching the 1994 World Cup final as Italy's starting goalkeeper.

An agile, consistent, and athletic goalkeeper, with excellent reactions and positioning,[1][2] he is regarded by pundits as one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation, and one of Italy's best ever goalkeepers.[3] He is the third highest capped player in Serie A behind Javier Zanetti and Paolo Maldini.


In his club career, Pagliuca has played for Sampdoria (1987–94), Internazionale (1994–99), Bologna (1999–2006), and Ascoli (2006–07). 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 received the dubious honour of being 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 penalty shootout. Despite the loss, Pagliuca became the first ever goalkeeper to save a penalty from a shootout in a World Cup final, denying Marcio Santos his shot.

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 was halted by the emergence of Juventus goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi, and it would be 3 years before he returned to the Italy squad. Pagliuca would have taken part the World Cup that summer only as a back-up but for an arm injury to Peruzzi just prior to the tournament.

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. Italy lost against host country France in the quarter-final. 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 signed with his home town club, Bologna. After Bologna relegated to Serie B in 2004/2005, Pagliuca stayed with the club.

On 17 September 2006, Pagliuca set the record for most Serie A appearances for a goalkeeper, overtaking Dino Zoff, as he started against Messina.[4]

Pagliuca accepted a contract with Ascoli in the winter season for 1 year starting in summer of (2006–07). He retired at the end of the season, along with fellow Italian goalkeeper and former national teammate Angelo Peruzzi.

Keith Olbermann[edit]

Because of his colourful name, former SportsCenter anchor and current ESPN host Keith Olbermann uses 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 anchor Gary Miller uttered an obscenity while trying to pronounce Pagliuca's name during a voiceover recording for a segment about the 1994 World Cup. In the 1997 book The Big Show: Inside ESPN's SportsCenter, Olbermann remarked, "We'll spare you which expletive."

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1986/87 Sampdoria Serie A 0 0
1987/88 2 -1
1988/89 33 -25
1989/90 34 -26
1990/91 32 -22
1991/92 34 -31
1992/93 29 -39
1993/94 34 -39
1994/95 Internazionale Serie A 34 -34
1995/96 34 -30
1996/97 34 -35
1997/98 34 -26
1998/99 29 -40
1999/00 Bologna Serie A 32 -39
2000/01 34 -53
2001/02 34 -40
2002/03 34 -47
2003/04 34 -53
2004/05 38 -36
2005/06 Serie B 42 -42
2006/07 Ascoli Serie A 23 -38
Country Italy 634 -698 0
Total 634[5] -698[5]
Italy national team
Year Apps Goals
1991 3 -2
1992 3 -1
1993 8 -4
1994 13 -9
1995 3 -2
1996 0 0
1997 3 -5
1998 6 -4
Total 39[6] -27[6]



U.C. Sampdoria
F.C. Internazionale Milano


Italy National Football Team


F.C. Internazionale Milano
Bologna F.C.


Cavaliere OMRI BAR.svg
5th Class/Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 1991[7]


  1. ^ "I migliori portiere: Le pagelle della Serie A Gianluca Pagliuca (Inter)". Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "PAGLIUCA GIANLUCA". Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "IFFHS, quattro interisti tra i migliori portieri degli ultimi 25 anni". Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  4. ^ BBC SPORT | Football | Europe | Pagliuca sets new Serie A record
  5. ^ a b "Gianluca Pagliuca - Presenze e reti in campionato". (in Italian). Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Gianluca Pagliuca - Presenze e reti in Nazionale". (in Italian). Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Onoreficenze". (in Italian). 30 September 1991. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 

External links[edit]