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Zoff released after lengthy hospital stay


zoffItalian goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff returned home on Sunday following a lengthy spell in hospital, reports said on Sunday.

Zoff, who won six Serie A titles with Juventus before coaching the club to the 1990 UEFA Cup, was admitted to hospital in early November after being “struck by an unspecified neurological problem which has left him with difficulty walking”.

The 73-year-old was released on Sunday and told Gazzetta dello Sport: “I’m feeling better and want to thank everyone for their support. Fortunately, the worst is over.”

Zoff was considered among the best goalkeepers of his generation and, as captain of Italy, led the Azzurri to World Cup success in 1982 — becoming the oldest winner of the trophy at 40 years, 4 months and 13 days.

Zoff played the bulk of his club career at Juventus from 1972-1983, where he won six Serie A titles, two Italian Cups, a UEFA Cup and reached two European Cup finals in 1973 and 1983, in the process becoming the oldest player, at 41 years and 86 days, to play in a European Cup final.

After his playing career, Zoff spent two years as coach of Juventus, leading the Turin giants to an Italian Cup-UEFA Cup double in 1990.

Despite moving on to Lazio, he notably found success as coach of Italy from 1998, when he introduced many up and coming young players including Francesco Totti, Vincenzo Montella, Gianluca Zambrotta and Christian Abbiati to the national side.

Having qualified Italy for Euro 2000, Zoff’s team went all the way to the final where David Trezeguet, who had just signed for Juventus, hit a golden goal in extra-time to hand then world champions France the title.

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