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Gianluigi Buffon, Dino Zoff, Paolo Cannavaro, Paolo Maldini – Signed Photo – UEFA Euro 2012 (Italy v Northern Ireland – Stadio Adriatico 11.10.2011)

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Foto con autografo di Gianluigi Buffon, Dino Zoff, Paolo Cannavaro, Paolo Maldini.

Dimension:  15 Cm x 20 Cm (Appr.) – 6×8 Inches (Appr.)

Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon (left), Paulo Maldini (second left), Dino Zoff (centre) and Fabio Cannavaro (second right) receive an award for earning 100 or more international caps.

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GIANLUIGI BUFFON BIOGRAPHY:
Gianluigi Buffon (born 28 January 1978) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Serie B club Parma. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and by some as the greatest ever. He is one of the few recorded players to have made over 1,100 professional career appearances. Buffon holds the record for the longest streak without conceding a goal in Serie A history, achieved over twelve league matches; he kept the opposition out for 974 consecutive minutes during the 2015–16 season, achieving the most consecutive clean sheets (10) during that run. Buffon also holds the record for most clean sheets and most appearances in both Serie A and with the Italian national team. At club level, Buffon’s professional career began with Parma in 1995, where he made his Serie A debut. He soon broke into the starting line-up and earned a reputation as one of the most promising young goalkeepers in Italy, helping Parma to win the Coppa Italia, the UEFA Cup and the Supercoppa Italiana in 1999. After joining Juventus in 2001, for the world record fee for a goalkeeper of €52 million at the time, Buffon won Serie A titles in both of his first two seasons at the club, and established himself as one of the best players in the world in his position. In his first spell at Juventus, he won a record nine Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias, and five Supercoppa Italianas. He was the first goalkeeper to win the Serie A Footballer of the Year award, and was named Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year a record twelve times. After reaching the 2015 and 2017 UEFA Champions League finals, he was named to the Champions League Squad of the Season on both occasions, and won the inaugural The Best FIFA Goalkeeper award in the latter year. After seventeen years with Juventus, Buffon signed with French club Paris Saint-Germain at the age of 40 in 2018, where he was used in a rotational role with Alphonse Areola; he won the Trophée des Champions and the Ligue 1 title in his only season with the team, before returning to Juventus the following year. During the 2019–20 season, Buffon served primarily as a back-up to Wojciech Szczęsny, but still managed to break Paolo Maldini’s record of 647 appearances in Serie A, as he won a record tenth Serie A title with the club. The following season he continued to serve as a back-up, but started in the Coppa Italia, winning his record sixth title. In June 2021, he returned to his boyhood club Parma, who were relegated to Serie B for that season. With 176 international caps, Buffon is the most capped player in the history of the Italy national team, the seventh-most capped footballer of all time (joint with Hossam Hassan), and the third-most capped European international player ever; Buffon also holds the record for most appearances for Italy as captain after he inherited the armband in 2010. Buffon was called up for a record of five FIFA World Cup tournaments (in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014) after making his debut in 1997; he was an unused substitute in the 1998 edition. He was the starting goalkeeper of the squad that won the 2006 tournament, being awarded the Golden Glove as the competition’s best goalkeeper. He also represented Italy at four European Championships, at the 1996 Olympics, and at two FIFA Confederations Cups, winning a bronze medal in the 2013 edition of the tournament. Following his performances during the 2006 World Cup, where he kept a record five clean sheets, Buffon won the Yashin Award and was elected to the Team of the Tournament, an honour he also received from UEFA after reaching the quarter-finals of the 2008 and the final of the 2012 European Championship. Buffon retired from international football in 2017, after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup; although he reversed this decision to play in the team’s friendlies the following year, he officially confirmed his international retirement in May 2018. Buffon was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players in 2004. He is the only goalkeeper to win the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award, which he achieved after reaching the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final; he also won UEFA’s award for best goalkeeper that year, and was additionally voted into the UEFA Team of the Year on five occasions. Buffon was the runner-up for the Ballon d’Or in 2006, and was elected part of the FIFPro World11 three times. He was the first ever goalkeeper to win the Golden Foot Award, and was also named the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper a record five times (alongside Iker Casillas and Manuel Neuer); he would go on to be named the best goalkeeper of the 21st century, of the past 25 years and of the decade by the same organisation.
DINO ZOFF BIOGRAPHY :
Dino Zoff (born 28 February 1942) is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. He is the oldest ever winner of the World Cup, which he earned as captain of the Italian national team in the 1982 tournament, at the age of 40 years, 4 months and 13 days. He also won the award for best goalkeeper of the tournament and was elected to the team of the tournament for his performances, keeping two clean-sheets, an honour he also received after winning the 1968 European Championship on home soil. Zoff is the only Italian player to have won both the World Cup and the European Championship. He also achieved great club success with Juventus, winning six Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia titles, and a UEFA Cup, also reaching two European Champions’ Cup finals in the 1972–73 and 1982–83 seasons, as well as finishing second in the 1973 Intercontinental Cup final. Zoff was a goalkeeper of outstanding ability, and he has a place in the history of the sport among the very best in this role, being named the third greatest goalkeeper of the 20th century by the IFFHS behind Lev Yashin and Gordon Banks. He holds the record for the longest playing time without allowing goals in international tournaments (1,142 minutes) set between 1972 and 1974. With 112 caps, he is the sixth most capped player for the Italy national team. In 2004, Pelé named Zoff as one of the 100 greatest living footballers. In the same year, Zoff placed fifth in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll, and was elected as Italy’s golden player of the past 50 years. He also placed second in the 1973 Ballon d’Or, as he narrowly missed out on a treble with Juventus. In 1999, Zoff placed 47th in World Soccer Magazine’s 100 Greatest Players of the Twentieth Century. After retiring as a footballer, Zoff went on to pursue a managerial career, coaching the Italian national team, with which he reached the Euro 2000 Final, losing to Team France, and several Italian club teams, including his former club Juventus, with which he won an UEFA Cup and a Coppa Italia double during the 1989–90 season, trophies he had also won as a player. In September 2014, Zoff published his Italian autobiography Dura solo un attimo, la gloria (“Glory only Lasts a Moment”).
FABIO CANNAVARO BIOGRAPHY :
Fabio Cannavaro (born 13 September 1973) is an Italian former professional footballer and current manager of Chinese club Guangzhou. A centre-back, he spent the majority of his career in Italy. He started his career at Napoli before spending seven years at Parma, with whom he won two Coppa Italia titles, the 1999 Supercoppa Italiana, and the 1999 UEFA Cup. After spells at Internazionale and Juventus, he transferred (along with manager Fabio Capello) from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2006, with whom he won consecutive La Liga titles in 2007 and 2008. After returning to Juventus for one season in 2009–10, he joined Al-Ahli in Dubai, where he retired from football in 2011 after an injury-troubled season. Cannavaro has also achieved success with the Italy national team. He was part of the Italy team which won consecutive UEFA European Under-21 Championships in 1994 and 1996. After earning his first senior cap in 1997, he helped his national team to the final of UEFA Euro 2000, being named in the team of the tournament, and became captain in 2002, following Paolo Maldini’s retirement. Cannavaro led Italy to victory in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, and was given the nickname “Il Muro di Berlino” (“The Berlin Wall”) by the Italian supporters due to his defensive performances, which saw Italy keep five clean sheets and concede only two goals, neither of which were in open play. He was awarded the Silver Ball after being named the tournament’s second-best player. In 2009, Cannavaro overtook Maldini as the most capped player in the country’s history. He retired from international football on 25 June 2010 following Italy’s failure to qualify for the knockout stages of the 2010 World Cup, having amassed 136 caps and 2 goals for the senior national team. In total, he has represented Italy at four World Cups, two UEFA European Championships, the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. He is currently Italy’s second all-time appearance holder, behind Gianluigi Buffon. Cannavaro was named the 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year, making him the only defender in history to have won the award. He also won the Ballon d’Or award in 2006 which made him the only defender to win the award in a decade and only the third of all time after Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer. In 2006 and 2007 Cannavaro was named in the FIFA World XI. In 2007, he was in the six man shortlist for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. His younger brother Paolo was also a professional footballer, and currently serves as a member of Guangzhou Evergrande’s coaching staff under the direction of his older brother Fabio. After his retirement, Cannavaro became a member of the coaching staff of Al-Ahli, notably as global ambassador and technical director from 2011 to 2013, and as an assistant coach from 2013 to 2014. In November 2014, he was appointed as head coach of Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande. On 9 June 2016, he signed a contract with second-tier Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian as manager where he led the team to the league title. He returned to Guangzhou Evergrande in 2017.
PAOLO MALDINI BIOGRAPHY :
Paolo Cesare Maldini (born 26 June 1968) is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a left back and central defender for A.C. Milan and the Italy national team, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever defenders, and as one of the greatest players of all time. As the Milan and Italy captain for many years he was nicknamed “Il Capitano” (“The Captain”). Maldini holds the record for most appearances in Serie A, alongside Gianluigi Buffon, with 647. He is currently serving as technical director for Milan, as well as being co-owner of USL Championship club Miami FC. Maldini spent all 25 seasons of his playing career in the Serie A with Milan, before retiring at the age of 41 in 2009. He won 25 trophies with Milan: the UEFA Champions League five times, seven Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, five Supercoppa Italiana titles, five European Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup. Maldini won the Best Defender trophy at the UEFA Club Football Awards at the age of 39, as well as the Serie A Defender of the Year Award in 2004. Following his retirement after the 2008–09 season, Milan retired his number 3 shirt. Maldini made his debut for Italy in 1988, playing for 14 years before retiring in 2002 with 7 goals and 126 caps, an appearance record at the time, which has since been surpassed by Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon. Maldini captained Italy for eight years and held the record for appearances as Italy’s captain (74), until he was again overtaken by Cannavaro and Buffon. With Italy, Maldini took part in four FIFA World Cups and three UEFA European Championships. Although he did not win a tournament with Italy, he reached the final of the 1994 World Cup and Euro 2000, and the semi-final of the 1990 World Cup and Euro 1988. He was elected into the all-star teams for each of these tournaments, in addition to Euro 1996. Maldini came second to George Weah for FIFA World Player of the Year in 1995. He also placed third in the Ballon d’Or in 1994 and 2003. In 2002, he was chosen as a defender on the FIFA World Cup Dream Team, and in 2004 Pelé named him in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players. Maldini held the record for most appearances in UEFA Club competitions, with 174, until he was overtaken by Iker Casillas in 2017. He is also the record appearance holder for Milan with 902 appearances in all competitions. He is one of only 18 players to have made over 1,000 career appearances. In December 2012, he was inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame. Maldini’s father Cesare also played for and captained Milan, and was a successful national under-21 manager, who also coached Milan and the senior national side during the 1998 World Cup.

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