"I'll look to make sure Zenga isn’t forgotten with my saves," he said during his presentation and he pulled the miracle off. Pagliuca took to Inter straight away and he did so day after day in training and matches. To follow Walter after thirteen years was a tough task but Gianluca understood that his actions on the training pitch and pitch counted more than words. He understood Inter and what it meant to be Inter straight away. He was unbeatable between the posts and charismatic away from them, he was never afraid of any opponent. He developed at Bologna, established himself at Sampdoria where he won the Scudetto in the team of Mancini an d Vialli and played against the Inter side a strong German influence, saving a Matthaus penalty in May 1991.
He repeated the same pieces of magic in a Nerazzurri shirt. He arrived at the club after the rollercoaster of emotions that was the World Cup in the USA. He was sent off in the second match against Norway and then could have been the hero of the final after saving the first Brazilian penalty in the shootout but it wasn’t enough to claim the trophy. For Inter, he narrowly missed out on the UEFA Cup before winning another one straight away in the year when Inter were battling Juventus for the Scudetto and only fell away in the final matches after an unprecedented run of refereeing mistakes. In that team, the goalkeeper from Bologna was a clear leader, always ready to make himself heard to his teammates, opponents and any unfortunate referees. In those years, Milan were a really strong rival but they were never able to beat him. With ‘Pagliucone’ in goal, Inter had a record of six wins, four draws and no defeats.
San Siro was historically a stadium with a demanding but honest crowd, one that could recognise who was giving everything for the shirt. Still today, Pagliuca is greeted by applause whenever he returns. He left in 1999 as Marcello Lippi decided to count on Angelo Peruzzi, with some saying that he'd not forgotten the controversial scenes after the match on 26th April 1998. It was water under the bridge, time heals all wounds (or almost). Pagliuca is certainly in Nerazzurri history and not just for lifting the club's third UEFA Cup as captain.