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Giancarlo Galavotti, Gazzetta dello Sport
"It's totally unexpected"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 4 July, 2000, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Zoff quits as Italy coach
Italian players
Italian disappointment was tangible at Euro 2000
Italian coach Dino Zoff has announced he is to resign in the wake of his team's 2-1 defeat by France in the Euro 2000 final.

Italy were just seconds away from European glory but a last-gasp strike in normal time by Sylvain Wiltord and David Trezeguet's golden goal poured misery onto the Italians.

Zoff, the former Juventus and national team keeper, was the subject of much criticism over Italy's defensive tactics.

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi said after the final that he was "indignant" that Zoff had not assigned a man to mark Zinedine Zidane, saying the result of the final would have been different if he had.

Zoff was clearly unhappy at the criticism levelled at his approach from the politician.

"I don't take lessons in dignity from Mr Berlusconi," Zoff said after announcing his resignation.

"I don't understand why someone has to undermine the work of someone else. I will reply to Berlusconi personally."

"I was offended as a man. Mr Berlusconi does not have to tell me what to do.

Berlusconi had accused Zoff of being unprofessional and his tactics were unworthy.

Zoff added: "I know what will happen. It will be said that I benefited from the occasion, I know that my image will not come out of this unscathed, I have experience of this. But I don't want to continue."

The former Italian goalkeeper with a record 112 caps was first appointed national coach following Italy's exit from the 1998 World Cup by France.

The 58-year-old admitted that Sunday's heartbreaking 2-1 defeat was one of the worst moments of his illustrious career.

A Football Federation spokesman confirmed Zoff had quit.

Asked whether the federation would accept his resignation, the spokesman said: "I think so."

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03 Jul 00 | Euro2000
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02 Jul 00 | Euro2000
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