MILAN - Gianluca Pagliuca has been inducted into the Inter Hall of Fame. The goalkeeper, born in Bologna on 18 December 1966, is the first former player to be inducted into the 2021 Hall of Fame. He becomes the fourth goalkeeper to be given this prestigious recognition, following in the footsteps of Walter Zenga, Francesco Toldo and Julio Cesar.
This is the first in a series of announcements for Hall of Fame inductions. Between now and March, there will be one player per month inducted: a defender, midfielder, and a forward.
Joining Zenga, Toldo and Julio Cesar is Gianluca Pagliuca, who represented Inter between 1994 and 1999, captaining the Nerazzurri to UEFA Cup success in 1998 against Lazio.
Pagliuca made 234 appearances for Inter, having been given the tough task of filling the considerable gloves of Nerazzurri legend Zenga. He featured in ten Milan derbies without losing, while offering an incredible skillset as a keeper, boasting excellent shot-stopping, impressive reactions, and an iron will. He was also known for his legendary kits which have played a role in his legendary status over the years.
An extraordinary goalkeeper, who has only been surpassed in the record of penalties saved in Serie A by Samir Handanovic, another iconic Nerazzurri shotstopper. Pagliuca saved 24 of the 91 he faced in 592 Serie A games. What’s more, he holds the record of being the fifth-highest appearance holder in Serie A history, featuring for Sampdoria, Inter, Bologna and Ascoli.
"I’m really proud to be inducted into the Inter Hall of Fame. Historically, Inter have always had very good goalkeepers, from Giuliano Sarti to Ivano Bordon, and from Zenga to my successors. To be chosen by the Nerazzurri fans is an honour for me and is testament to how great those five years I spent at Inter were. I’d like to thank them; they have a special place in my heart.
"If I look back I’ve got many good memories. I’d pick the 1998 UEFA Cup triumph ahead of all of them though; it was an amazing journey, so many tough matches and incredible comebacks. It was a real triumph. I captained the team that day because Giuseppe Bergomi was injured. We lifted the trophy together, a really nice memory.
"Despite it being such a great adventure I regret not winning the league. It's a shame because it would have been a really amazing double. But I’ll take the positives, like the fact that I won six derbies and drew four, remaining undefeated.
“In being inducted into the Hall of Fame I join two of my amazing team-mates Bergomi and Ronaldo. Zio did a great job in welcoming me into the club when I joined in 1994. He was a close friend of Zenga and I was filling his boots. He was great, both as a player and a person. And what can I say about Ronnie? The best player I ever played with, his performances in the 1997/98 season were amazing and unprecedented.”
INTER HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES