"The Special One versus Spiderman" sounds more like a comic book than the billing for a match, but that will be Saturday's key contest as José Mourinho's FC Internazionale Milano host Walter Zenga's Calcio Catania.
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Born in Milan, former Italy goalkeeper Zenga played for Inter from 1982 to 1994, appearing in 328 games and winning the 1988/89 Scudetto and the 1990/91 and 1993/94 UEFA Cups. After retiring from playing he spent ten years abroad coaching the likes of FC National Bucureşti, FC Steaua Bucureşti, FK Crvena Zvezda, Gaziantepspor and FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti before returning to Italy last term to help Catania avoid relegation.
'Lots of emotions'
The man nicknamed Spiderman by the Inter fans is now ready to return to San Siro to take on his old club. "The game is obviously special for me," the 48-year-old admitted. "It took ten years for me to return to Italy and I have memories of every stadium, but I spent 22 years of my life at the San Siro so there will be lots of emotions for me." A lifelong Inter fan, Zenga is also an admirer of Mourinho. "He has won everything," said Zenga. "He is a great coach."
Inter were held to a 1-1 draw at UC Sampdoria in their Serie A opener and Mourinho will try to win his first game as Nerazzurri coach against Catania with much of the attention turning on the likely debut of new signing Ricardo Quaresma. However Zenga is ready to make Mourinho's life difficult. "My players are ready," he said. "Beating the Italian champions is not something you do every day. We will have to give everything we have and exploit all of their weaknesses."