The two lives of Spiderman

Walter Zenga SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.10 / 110

He wore the Nerazzurri kit 473 times. The first time was in 1982, the final time finished in tears on a spring evening in 1994 as the UEFA Cup was won. On the other hand, he only wore a postman’s outfit a few times. It was in 2000 when he accepted the proposal of Maria De Filippi to be in “C’è posta per te” (You’ve got mail). The postman on Canale 5 and the shirt that made Italian football history. The two outfits seemed poles apart but there was no contradiction in bringing them together for Walter Zenga.

Because Walter, one of the greatest goalkeepers in Nerazzurri history was also one of the first players to link sport and popular culture. In goal, apart from his talent he combined instinct and audacity. These were the very same characteristics which allowed to him to explore the world of television and not just that. Zenga had always been a pop-icon. In 1987 he recorded a record called “Il tuo amico Walter Zenga” (Your friend Walter Zenga). With eight tracks, it cannot be found online today and only the cover art remains with a young Zenga smiling hand-in-hand with a child in a recording studio. Zenga could have done it without it all seeming out of place. But above all, it was his displays on the pitch that spoke the loudest.

Between 1989 and 1991, he was voted as the best goalkeeper in the world for three years straight and he was part of the record-breaking Scudetto win and a star at the 1990 World Cup. The pop side to Walter continued to come out at unexpected moments. Like in 1992 when he was excluded from Arrigo Sacchi’s Italy team. With his messy hair and dark Ray Bans, the journalists present asked for a comment but he only responded by singing the 883 song “Hanno ucciso l’uomo ragno chi sia stato non si sa” (They’ve killed Spiderman and we don’t know who did it). From then on, he was Spiderman for everyone.

Walter Zenga

Walter Zenga (Milan, 1960) wore the Inter shirt 473 times between 1982 and 1994, winning the Scudetto once, the Supercoppa Italiana once and the UEFA Cup twice. On an international level, he was voted the best goalkeeper in the world three times consecutively between 1989 and 1991. For Italy, he made 58 appearances and took part in two World Cups (1986 and 1990) and one European Championship (1988).