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Great Britain

Paul Gascoigne’s demise was biggest regret in Italy World Cup-winning legend Dino Zoff’s career

FORMER England star Paul Gascoigne's demise was the biggest regret in Italian legend Dino Zoff's career, the former Lazio boss admitted.

Zoff was manager of the Rome club and coached the Three Lions legend before he eventually joined Gers in 1995 in a £4.3million deal.

But ex-keeper Zoff - who won a World Cup winners medal at the age of 40 in 1982 - has recalled his time in charge of Gascoigne and admits he already knew the path his life would take because of his antics in Italy.

He said: "Paul made me desperate. He was a great artist who lost his art. I have always admired the artists, the ones who are the creators. The goalkeeper creates nothing.

"He made me crazy with rage, I was sorry for him, he threw away his art in a bad way.

"My heart cried for him. Already at that time it was clear he would have problems when he stopped playing.

"It was a logical consequence. It may make everything worse to stop when you are at the peak of your career.

"One year he returned to the training camp having put on 12 kilograms. He showed up with a ponytail and an extra 12kg. I was desperate.

"When I saw him arrive at the training ground, I asked who that character was. I didn't recognise him. It was Gascoigne.

"He's the biggest regret of my career."

Gascoigne joined Lazio in 1992 and spent three years in Italy before moving to Rangers, where he won four major trophies in his three years at the club.

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