A versatile, dynamic and creative full-back, Gianluca Zambrotta started out as a reliable right-sided midfielder who quickly earned a place in the national side.
An injury sustained with Juventus at the start of the 2002/03 season led to Mauro Camoranesi deputising for him in his absence. Ever the pragmatist, the then Bianconeri coach Marcello Lippi later persuaded Zambrotta to change flanks and position to become an attacking left-back. The transition proved a seamless one, with Zambrotta drawing on his stamina, technique and crossing ability to adapt to his new post with ease.
He also appeared in the left-back position at UEFA EURO 2004 and has maintained his place in the Italy side despite changes at the helm. And although he switched flanks again in 2005, he has continued to deliver consistent performances for club and country.
The winner of two Italian championships with Juve, Zambrotta was on the losing side in the 2003 UEFA Champions League final and the final of UEFA EURO 2000. A FIFA World Cup winner at Germany 2006, he spent two years with Barcelona before returning to Italy with AC Milan.