Record holder Zetti recalls undefeated streak and gives opinion on Weverton

During the 1987 São Paulo state championship, Palmeiras goalkeeper Zetti played 12 straight games without conceding a goal, totalling 1.238 minutes of invincibility. This club record places Zetti in 9th on the global ranking.

In an interview for the Nosso Palestra portal, Armelino Donizetti Quagliato, Zetti for short, recalls this particular moment in his career and also talks about Palmeiras keeper Weverton, with 9 games without conceding and counting. The original article, signed Gabriel Amorim, can be found here and has been translated by yours truly for Anything Palmeiras.

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“I was warming the bench during the 1987 Paulista, and got on as Martorelli was sent off”, Zetti recalls. “I played the last 15 minutes of Palmeiras 1-2 Guarani at the Pacaembu. I also played the following game, another defeat, against São Bento. Our coach, Carboni, was sacked after that and Waldemar Carabina took over. For the following game, the same starting eleven as against São Bento was used. Soon, our defence snapped into place”.

“During this period, there were talks Palmeiras were looking for a keeper, someone from Germany. But I was playing well, I was well prepared, 22 years old, in great physical form and making fantastic saves”, Zetti explains.

“A highlight of the series of undefeated games was the derby against São Paulo. Lino scored the winning goal for us and I was voted best player on the pitch. This attracted the media’s attention to my potential as well as the record, since this was the seventh or eighth game without conceding”.

“The radios started promoting challenges”, Zetti recalls. There were prizes to be won for those who correctly predicted in which minute Zetti would concede. “This was before the Internet, the challenges were launched on the radios and in the newspapers. It was a fun time, the pressure was very different from today’s”.

In time, Zetti was approaching Leão’s club record of 1973: 1.057 minutes without conceding. Palmeiras were playing at home, at the Palestra Italia stadium, and if Zetti should remain unbeaten for the initial 27 minutes, Leão’s record would be broken. Zetti himself was not completely aware of this. “With 10 seconds to the 27-minute-mark, the crowds initiated a countdown, before erupting in cheers. As soon as the ball was out of play, defender Vagner Bacharel – a terrific guy – gathered the whole squad and came over to hug me. Unforgettable”.

Zetti also remembers how the spell was broken. “I was unlucky. Luís Pereira, at the time playing for Santo André, took a shot, it deflected off Lino to leave me completely beaten.”

Can Weverton beat the record?

“I think it’s very possible. Weverton is playing very well. Felipão has made Palmeiras much more organized on the pitch, rarely suffering heat. Weverton is fast and has good technique. He also radiates confidence, which positively affects the rest of the team. In addition, he is good in the air, which is particularly important in the Libertadores Cup, where teams tend to cross a lot of balls”, Zetti analyses.

Would you be sad if your record was broken?

“Absolutely not. I’m really cheering for him. These kind of records are very important for the history of the club and football in general. I really hope he breaks the record and remains even longer without conceding”, Zetti concludes the interview.

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Weverton currently sums 812 minutes without conceding. The last goal suffered was against Fluminense, 43 minutes into the first half of the 15th round of the Brasileirão. Subtracted from Weverton’s count are the final 45 minutes against Vasco in the 18th round of the competition, when Jailson replaced him in halftime. The official count does not include additional/injury time (if so, Weverton’s mark would rise to 927 minutes).

Below, the global Top Ten of invincibility in the world of football (Weverton currently holding 24th place):

1. Mazaropi – 1,816 minutes – (Vasco da Gama – 1977/1978)
2. Neneca – 1.636 minutes – (Náutico – 1974)
3. Jorge Reis – 1,604 minutes – (Rio Branco – 1971)
4. El Batal – 1,442 minutes – (Al-Ahly – 1975/1976)
5. Dany Verlinden – 1,390 minutes – (Club Brugge – 1990)
6. Buljubasich – 1,352 minutes – (Universdade Católica – 2005)
7. Edwin Van Der Sar – 1,311 minutes – (Manchester United – 2008/2009)
8. Abel Resino – 1,275 minutes (Atlético de Madrid – 1991)
9. Zetti – 1,238 minutes – (Palmeiras – 1987)
10. Vitor Baia – 1,192 minutes – (Porto – 1991/1992)

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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