Javier Zanetti Retraces Inter Career from Start to Finish

Inter legend Javier Zanetti, who now serves as the club’s vice president, has reminisced the early stages of his Nerazzurri career when Gianluca Pagliuca was still at the helm. Zanetti arrived in 1995 from Argentine club Banfield, at just 22 years of age, and went on to etch a legacy few players can boast of – eventually ending his Inter career with a staggering 858 appearances.

During an event for the presentation of Pagliuca’s book ‘Volare Libero,’ the club executive retraced the stages of his career and the relationships he made along the way.

“I arrived at Inter in 1995 when I was very young, Gianluca was certainly one of the leaders, like my uncle. I watched everything the senior players did and my career began from there. It wasn’t easy for me when I arrived at Inter, I was a stranger. But as soon as I set foot there I told myself it was my great opportunity to show that I was ready to face a challenge with great champions. Italian football was the best in the world back then.” (via FCInterNews)

He then heaped praise on former president Massimo Moratti and treble-winner Jose Mourinho.

“Moratti is a gentleman, a person who is always available. As captain, I never discussed an award with him, because I knew that if victory came, he would come. Nobody dared to say otherwise. Inter has always been a family for me and in 2010 when we won everything I think all the components came together, i.e. fans, club and team – like Mourinho who led us to go further. We had created a group made up of great men, the things that happened in the dressing room were resolved between us, the club didn’t have to intervene, and then we moved on.”

Zanetti finally spoke of how he felt during his last season at the club in 2013/14.

“When I broke my Achilles tendon at almost 40, I said I had to stop playing. When I came back after the game, I went back to the locker room and everyone hugged me. There I realized it was my last season, I showed that I could stop playing football. After Inter offered me to be vice president, I was immediately happy but to do so you have to be very responsible. I didn’t expect to become one just for my career, so I immediately signed up for a program at Bocconi, I did a course of study in finance and marketing.”

El Tractor proved to have a longevity few other players displayed over the course of their respective careers, with 22 seasons under his professional belt from 1992/93 to 2014 when he hung his boots.

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