With 1,114 official games played, he is seventh on the list of players in history with the most career appearances. He is also the foreign player with the most appearances in Serie A (615), and holds the fourth-most appearances in the league, behind only Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon and Francesco Totti. He is the most capped player in the history of Inter (858), and won 16 trophies with the club: five Scudetti, four Coppa Italia, four Supercoppa Italiana, one UEFA Cup, one Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. He is also the most capped player as captain in the Champions League (82).
With the Argentina national team he played in 143 games, a figure that makes him the second player with the most appearances in the history of La Albiceleste, having held the record from 2007 to 2018. With Argentina he reached the final of the Copa América in 2004 and 2007, and the Confederations Cup in 1995 and 2005.
Known for his versatility, he was adept on both the left and right wing, having played on both flanks as a full back, as well as a winger. He could also play as a defensive midfielder. On retiring, the club retired his number 4 jersey and named him as its vice president. He has been named an ambassador for the SOS Children's Villages project in Argentina by FIFA, and in 2005 he received the Ambrogino d'Oro award from the city of Milan for his social initiatives. Zanetti is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics.
Javier Zanetti in 2014
|Born||10 August 1973|
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Employer||Inter Milan (as vice-president)|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
Javier Adelmar Zanetti was born in Buenos Aires with Italian origins to working-class parents and grew up in the harbour area in the Dock Sud district, one of the city's most notorious areas. His father Rodolfo was a bricklayer and his mother Violeta Bonnazola was a cleaner. He began playing football on a field in the city suburbs, maintaining the pitch in his spare time. When he was a teenager, he tried out for local club Independiente's youth academy but was ultimately rejected and told that he lacked the physique to succeed in the game. Instead, he concentrated on school and worked as an assistant to his father with masonry as well as odd jobs such as delivering milk and helping out at a relative's grocery store.
After his rejection from Independiente, Zanetti signed for Talleres de Remedios de Escalada, then a second division team. With them, he played 33 matches and scored one goal in his only season, before moving in 1993 to the First Division club Banfield.
A 20-year-old Zanetti debuted for Banfield on 12 September 1993 in a home match against River Plate. He scored his first goal 17 days later against Newell's Old Boys in a match that ended 1–1. His outstanding performances for Banfield gained popularity from El Taladro fans and also earned him a call-up from the national team. First division giants River Plate and Boca Juniors displayed interest but Zanetti decided to stay on for another year at the club. In 1995, along with fellow Argentine Sebastián Rambert, he transferred to Italy's Inter Milan, becoming team owner Massimo Moratti's first-ever purchase.
As a part of the squad for 19 seasons and with 858 appearances across all competitions, he is currently the team's longest-tenured player, and the first overall – surpassing Giuseppe Bergomi (758) – in the all-time list of Inter players by most games played.
Throughout his stay with the club, he won 16 trophies, 15 of which came under his captaincy : the UEFA Cup in 1998, the 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011 Coppa Italia, the 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010 Supercoppa Italiana, the 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09 and 2009–10 Scudetti and the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League.
Zanetti went 12 years without being sent off in a match. The first time he was sent off in his career was on 17 February 1999 in a Coppa Italia match against Parma, but he broke his streak when he was sent off in a Serie A match against Udinese on 3 December 2011. These were the only two times he was sent off during his entire career at Inter.
At Inter, Zanetti played under 19 different coaches, making him the only player to have played under this many coaches. He has pledged his future to the Nerazzurri, hoping to have a future behind the desk at the club in his retirement from playing. "Inter means a lot to me", Zanetti said.
It was the first team to open the doors of European football. I was very young when I came here and I think not many teams could have had so much faith and patience with a boy in his early 20s from the very first day like Inter did with me. I will always be grateful for that. For some reason I have always felt at home here at Inter and this is why I have never thought of leaving.
Zanetti made his debut for Inter on 27 August 1995 against Vicenza in Milan. He scored Inter's second goal in their 3–0 win over compatriots Lazio in the 1998 UEFA Cup Final at the Parc des Princes in Paris, his first silverware at the club, after losing in the final in the previous season.
After the arrival of Maicon at the beginning of the 2006–07 season, Zanetti was moved from the right-back position into midfield. He ended a four-year goal drought when he scored on 5 November 2006 at a home match against Ascoli, having previously scored on 6 November 2002 at an away match against Empoli. On 27 September 2006, against Bayern Munich, Zanetti played his 500th professional match for Inter and on 22 November 2006, he appeared in his 100th UEFA match, against Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Zanetti played an important role in the 2008 Supercoppa Italiana match over Roma, scoring his team's last penalty in a subsequent shootout win after the regular and extra time ended in a 2–2 draw; this was his first ever career penalty and the third Supercoppa Italiana title. Zanetti then celebrated his 600th match for Inter on 24 September 2008 with a 1–0 win over newly promoted Lecce. Minutes before the match, he was presented with a commemorative plate by former vice-captain Iván Córdoba to mark the occasion.
Though Zanetti is more often classified as a defender, he played mostly in midfield during the first half of the 2008–09 season. For the last several weeks of October 2008, with Inter coach José Mourinho facing a midfield crisis due to injuries to key midfielders Esteban Cambiasso and Sulley Muntari, he was moved again to the midfield for the matches against Genoa and Fiorentina. During that period, Mourinho played him in the midfield due to the presence of Maicon, Lúcio, Walter Samuel and Cristian Chivu in the back four.
The 2009–10 season began well for Zanetti and Inter, especially after a 4–0 thrashing of crosstown rivals A.C. Milan in the Derby della Madonnina. In the match against Genoa on 17 October, he started off the counter-attack that led to Inter's second goal after dispossessing a Genoa player. Inter became the first team of the season to win by a five-goal margin. On 24 October, he reached Giacinto Facchetti's record of 476 Serie A appearances when he turned out for the match against Catania, which ended in a 2–1 win for the Nerazzurri. He also currently holds a club record of 162 consecutive appearances.
Inter won the 2010 Champions League final 2–0 against Bayern Munich on 22 May 2010. This was Zanetti's 700th appearance for Inter, and it made him the first player to captain an Italian club to a treble of the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and Champions League.
On 20 October 2010, at 37 years and 71 days, Zanetti became the oldest player to score in the Champions League when he netted in the opening minute of Inter's 4–3 group stage win over Tottenham Hotspur at the San Siro. This was only his second ever Champions League goal; his first came in December 1998 in a match in a 2–0 win against Sturm Graz. He scored one of Inter's goals in their 3–0 win against Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma at the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup, which they eventually won, although Inter missed out on the UEFA Super Cup that season.
On 19 January 2011, Zanetti overtook Inter legend Giuseppe Bergomi in Serie A appearances, his 520th match in Serie A, all for Inter. On 11 May 2011, Zanetti made his 1,000th appearance as a professional footballer playing for Inter against Roma in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final. On 20 September 2011, Zanetti made the all-time appearance record in a Serie A clash against Novara, surpassing Giuseppe Bergomi.
On 10 March 2013, Zanetti played in his 600th Serie A match for Inter, a 1–0 loss to Bologna at the San Siro. On 21 April 2014, in the 1–0 home win against Parma, Zanetti played his 1,100th official match and became the player with the fourth-most appearances of all time.
On 29 April 2014, Inter chairman Erick Thohir announced that Zanetti would retire at the end of the 2013–14 season and become a club director. Zanetti's last competitive match at the San Siro was a 4–1 victory over Lazio on 10 May 2014. He came on as a substitute for Jonathan Moreira in the 52nd minute and wore a special armband featuring the names of every player he had played with during his career at Inter. He retired after the last game of the season, which he started as centre-back in a 2–1 away defeat to Chievo on 18 May.
In June 2014, Inter chairman Erick Thohir appointed Zanetti vice-president for a two-year term. However, Zanetti was not a member of the board of directors. The role was extended to 2016–17 season.
On 4 May 2015, during a charitable match at the San Siro, with former and current football stars, organised by Zanetti himself for the opening celebrations for the Expo 2015 in Milan, Inter officially retired Zanetti's number 4 jersey.
Zanetti debuted for Argentina on 16 November 1994 against Chile under coach Daniel Passarella. He represented his country at the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, and was also part of the team that won the silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States.
Zanetti was called up for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, where he made his debut in team's opening group match against Japan which finished in a 1–0 win. During the 1998 World Cup run, he neatly finished off a Juan Sebastián Verón free kick in the round of 16 match against England making the score 2–2. Argentina went on to win 4–3 on penalties but lost the quarter-final match to the Netherlands.
After having been part of the team during the qualification rounds, Zanetti was not called up for the 2006 World Cup by coach José Pékerman in a controversial decision. Instead, Lionel Scaloni was given a surprise selection, a move that bewildered many fans and media.
With new coach Alfio Basile, Zanetti was called for a friendly match against France on 7 February 2007. He played brilliantly and helped Javier Saviola to score the only goal of the game that gave Argentina the first victory under Basile's second management. That same year, Zanetti was vice-captain of the Argentine squad for the 2007 Copa América, having previously appeared in the 1995, 1999 and the 2004 editions of the tournament, reaching his second consecutive Copa América final.
In April 2007, Zanetti was presented with the National Giuseppe Prisco Award. After the retirement of Roberto Ayala, Zanetti was given the captain's armband. In a World Cup qualification match against Bolivia on 17 November 2007, he became the highest capped player Argentina.
Zanetti remained a regular under new coach Diego Maradona, although defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano took over as captain at Maradona's request. Despite winning the Champions League at club level, Zanetti and Inter teammate Esteban Cambiasso were not included in the Argentina squad for the 2010 World Cup. This move was heavily criticised by football pundits from both South America and Europe. Instead 30-year-old Ariel Garcé, who had been called up just twice in the previous five years, received a shocking selection, but ultimately did not play a single minute in any World Cup match. Zanetti's place in the starting line up was taken by Jonás Gutiérrez, who had spent the previous season playing on the wing for Newcastle United in England's second-tier Football League Championship.
On 20 August 2010, Argentina coach Sergio Batista recalled Zanetti to the squad for a friendly against Spain played on 7 September 2010 at the River Plate Monumental Stadium, where he and fellow legend Gabriel Batistuta were honored by the Argentine Football Association for their outstanding careers with more than 48,000 people giving them a standing ovation. He was called again for the friendly against Japan in Saitama of October 2010 but withdrew at the last minute due to injury.
Zanetti earned the nickname El Tractor for his stamina and tireless energetic runs up and down the wings to aid both attack and defence. He was known amongst his teammates for consistency and fitness regime, which he has credited with prolonging his career. During his last few seasons, he started in over 30 games despite being in his late 30s. As a captain for both his club and international sides, he was well-respected by both fans and the opposition for his leadership, calm demeanor and conduct both on and off the pitch; in his entire 22-year career, he only received two red cards.
Zanetti was a quick, strong and physically fit player in his prime, with outstanding physical attributes, excellent ball control, dribbling, technical ability and acceleration. Defensively, he excelled at reading the game, and he was a good ball-winner and man-marker, although he was also effective at distributing the ball to teammates, due to his passing range and vision. A two-way and two-footed player, he excelled at playing on either flank, where he was capable of advancing into more offensive positions to cross balls for teammates. He also possessed an accurate shot from distance. During his later years at Inter, he was known to have developed a formidable partnership with fellow full-back Maicon, leading the club to win several titles.
Zanetti began his career as a right offensive winger, but was later moved back into mid-field, where he became a tactically intelligent and versatile player, who was capable of playing anywhere in midfield or in defence. He was primarily used as a wide midfielder or as a full-back or wing-back on either flank throughout his career, although he has also been deployed as a central defender, sweeper, or as a central or defensive midfielder. He was even deployed in more offensive roles on occasion. Zanetti has been praised for his determination, consistency, and work-rate, as well as his discipline and longevity, which he has attributed to his diligence in training sessions.
On 23 December 1999, Zanetti married his long-time girlfriend Paula de la Fuente, the daughter of a university lecturer. They met when he was 19 and she was 14 and dated for seven years prior to their marriage. They live near Lake Como, and they also own a restaurant called El Gaucho in Milan in the Navigli district, a popular tourist area. Paula currently works as a photographer. The couple have a daughter, Sol (born 11 June 2005), and two sons, Ignacio (born 2008) and Tomás (born 9 May 2012).
Zanetti's mother, Violeta Bonazzola, passed away from a heart attack hours after Inter's triumph in 2011 Coppa Italia Final. He has published two autobiographies: Capitano e gentiluomo in 2010 and Giocare da uomo in 2013.
I must admit that [what] I feel at this moment is especially a thrill for all of us Argentines. [I] do not know him personally, but it is a Pope who has lived in Buenos Aires, very humble and always always close to our people. Faith is so important in the world and us we are all close. I had the good fortune to meet Pope Ratzinger and now I expect to have the 'opportunity to meet the new national pope, it would be a great thrill for me and my whole family. [I] wish him all the best and again, for all of us as people of Argentina [it] is a great feeling.
Zanetti has also shown social conscience when in response to Argentina's economic crisis of 2001, which threw millions of people into poverty, Zanetti, with his wife Paula, created the Fundación PUPI in Argentina for the social integration of poor children. The aim of the organization is to help children who were left impoverished by the country's economic crisis by giving them educational opportunities, as well as taking care of their nutritional requirements. He explained:
When I look back to my childhood, many concrete scenes come to my mind, good ones and bad ones. I had a difficult childhood, and even though I don't live in my country at present, I'm well aware of what's going on there and the devastating effect it's having on our poorest children. I've always believed that our public actions need to take account of our social responsibility,
Zanetti, along with his compatriot Esteban Cambiasso, founded this charity association to help coach young children with social isolation problems and motor coordination difficulties. Zanetti said that "this spirit lies at the base of all of Inter's initiatives for youngsters:"
There must always be values at the heart of sport, and this is what we have to teach children.
|Team||Season||League||Cup||Continental[nb 1]||Other[nb 2]||Total|
|Inter Milan||1995–96||Serie A||32||2||5||0||2||0||—||39||2|
|—[nb 3]||22 June 1995||Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, Argentina||—||Slovakia||2–0||6–0||Friendly|
|1||14 May 1998||Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes, Córdoba, Argentina||28||Bosnia and Herzegovina||3–0||5–0|
|2||30 June 1998||Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne, France||34||England||2–2||2–2||1998 FIFA World Cup|
|3||8 June 2003||Nagai Stadium, Osaka, Japan||70||Japan||2–1||4–1||2003 Kirin Cup|
|4||9 October 2004||El Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina||88||Uruguay||3–0||4–2||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
During the 1995–96 Italian football season, F.C. Internazionale Milano competed in Serie A.1996–97 Inter Milan season
During the 1996–97 Italian football season, F.C. Internazionale Milano competed in Serie A.1997 UEFA Cup Final
The 1997 UEFA Cup Final was a two-legged football match contested between Schalke 04 of Germany and Internazionale of Italy. The tie was a tight affair, with each leg being won 1–0 by the home-team. After 210 minutes of football, the tie was eventually settled on penalties, with Schalke winning 4–1 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. It was to be the last UEFA Cup final to be played over two legs, future finals being one-off games at a neutral ground.1998 FIFA World Cup Group H
Group H at the 1998 FIFA World Cup comprised CONMEBOL representatives Argentina, World Cup debutants Croatia, competing from the UEFA confederation, Jamaica of CONCACAF and Japan from the Asian Football Confederation.
Argentina qualified with a match to spare after they beat Japan and Jamaica with Gabriel Batistuta scoring in both games. Croatia did the same with Davor Šuker scoring in both games. Argentina then beat Croatia to take first place, while Jamaica got their first ever points in a World Cup finals tournament by beating Japan.2000 Coppa Italia Final
The 2000 Coppa Italia Final decided the winner of the 1999–2000 Coppa Italia. It was played over two legs and won 2–1 on aggregate by Lazio over Internazionale. It was Lazio's fourth Coppa Italia Final and third win.2002 FIFA World Cup Group F
The Group F of the 2002 FIFA World Cup lasted from 2 to 12 June 2002. Sweden won the group, and advanced to the second round, along with England. The two sides were level on points, but Sweden won the tie-break on goals scored, and so won the group with England in second place. Argentina and Nigeria failed to advance. Group F was considered by several commentators to be a 'group of death' due to the high rankings, and World Cup records of the teams in the group.2006 Coppa Italia Final
The 2006 Coppa Italia Final was the final of the 2005–06 Coppa Italia, the 59th season of the top cup competition in Italian football. The match was played over two legs between Roma and Internazionale. This was the second final between these two clubs, the match being the replay of previous season's final. The first leg was played in Rome on 3 May 2006, while the second leg on 11 May 2006. Inter won the trophy with an aggregate result of 4–2. With this victory, Internazionale manager Roberto Mancini won the Coppa Italia for the tenth time, six as a player, four as a coach.2007 Copa América Final
The 2007 Copa América Final was the final match of the 2007 Copa América. It was held on 15 July 2007 in Maracaibo, Venezuela, between Brazil and Argentina. Brazil won 3–0, with goals from Júlio Baptista, a Roberto Ayala own goal and Dani Alves. Brazil won their eighth title, while Argentina could have won their fifteenth.2007 Coppa Italia Final
The 2007 Coppa Italia Final was the final of the 2006–07 Coppa Italia, the 60th season of the top cup competition in Italian football. The match was played over two legs between Roma and Internazionale. The first leg was played in Rome on 9 May 2007, while the second leg was held on 17 May. Roma won the trophy with an aggregate result of 7–4. This was the third final between the clubs, all played in consecutive years, the two having previously met in the 2005 and 2006 finals. Roma were playing in the final for the 14th time, while Inter were competing in their 10th final.2008 Supercoppa Italiana
The 2008 Supercoppa Italiana was a football match that was played by 2007–08 Serie A winners Internazionale and 2007–08 Coppa Italia winners Roma. The match proved to be a tightly contested affair. After exchanging goals, it appeared that Inter was on its way to victory on Mario Balotelli's goal on the 83rd minute, however, Mirko Vučinić tied the game for Roma at the 90th minute. Extra time settled nothing. In the penalty shoot-out, it appeared that a miss by Inter's Dejan Stanković would be decisive, however, Roma captain Francesco Totti missed the team's fifth shot, which would have given his team the cup. In the seventh round, Roma's Juan missed while Inter captain Javier Zanetti scored, ending the match in favour of the Serie A champions.
The match took place on 24 August 2008 in San Siro, Milan.To date, this remains the only occasion on which manager José Mourinho won a trophy on a penalty shoot-out.Coppa Campioni d'Italia
The Coppa Campioni d'Italia is the trophy that in Italian football represents the victory of the Serie A championship.
The trophy was created in 1960 by sculptor and medalist Ettore Calvelli; has a height of 45 cm around and weighs about 5 kg, rests on a stone base hard blue sodalite and has at its center a ring of gold depicting an allegory of athletes; between 2015 and 2016, these dimensions increased (specifically, about 20 cm in height) for television requirements. The Cup has a value of about 60,000 euro and bears engraved on golden base, the names of all the teams that have won the top division since the season 1960–61.
The first team to be awarded the Coppa Campioni d'Italia was Juventus in 1961, the same club as in 2005 received the trophy for the first time on the field.
The original trophy remains property of the Lega Serie A and is only held in custody by the winning club; when returned the club receives a reduced scale model to be exhibited in their trophy room.Football at the 1996 Summer Olympics
The football tournament at the 1996 Summer Olympics started on 20 July and finished on 3 August. The women's competition was contested for the first time in Olympic history at these Games.Fundación PUPI
The Fundación P.U.P.I. (English: PUPI Foundation) is an Argentine nonprofit organization which provides aid to poor and disadvantaged children. The foundation is predominantly localized in the Buenos Aires Province, particularly in townships where the majority of the population live below the poverty line. It is recognized by the government and collaborates with corporate sponsors, other charities and local football clubs.Inter Milan Hall of Fame
This is a list of Inter players who have been inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.
Inter's Hall of Fame has been launched in 2018 as part of the initiatives for the club's 110th anniversary.Nicolás Tagliafico
Nicolás Alejandro Tagliafico (born 31 August 1992) is an Argentine footballer who plays as a left back for Dutch club Ajax. Because of his "lung-busting stamina, excellent technique and continuous enterprise", as well as his playing position and club, he has been compared to the Internazionale and Argentina full-back Javier Zanetti, formerly also of Banfield.Roberto Ayala
Roberto Fabián Ayala (locally [roˈβeɾto faˈβjan aˈʒala]; born 14 April 1973), nicknamed El Ratón (English: "The Mouse"), is an Argentine former footballer who played as a centre back for the Argentina national team, as well as Valencia and Real Zaragoza in Spain, Milan and Napoli in Italy and River Plate in his native Argentina.
Regarded as one of the best central defenders of his generation, he stood out for his leadership and ability in the air throughout his career. Ayala captained the Argentina in a record 63 matches. He played in three FIFA World Cups and made a total of 115 international appearances, behind only Javier Mascherano, Javier Zanetti and Lionel Messi in terms of international appearances. He inherited the nickname El Ratón from the Argentine 1974 World Cup player Rubén Ayala, although they are not related.Sebastián Rambert
Sebastián Pascual Rambert is a retired Argentine football striker. He was born on 30 January 1974, in the city of Bernal in the Buenos Aires Province of Argentina and is the descendant of French immigrants. In fact, his father, Ángel Rambert, was an Argentine-born forward who began his career with Lanús before transferring to Lyon in France, where he eventually played for their national team after gaining dual nationality.
In 1995 Rambert transferred from Independiente to Inter Milan. He arrived at the club along with fellow Argentine Javier Zanetti, but he did not enjoy the same success as his compatriot. After an entire season without making a single appearance in Serie A he then transferred to Real Zaragoza in 1996, where he finally received his first minutes in Europe.
Rambert played only one season in Spain before returning to his homeland to sign with Boca Juniors. This move was followed by stints at River Plate, Independiente and then a return to Europe for a brief season in Greece with Iraklis. He returned to Argentina to sign with Arsenal de Sarandí, where he ended his playing career in 2003.
Since then, he has been an assistant coach to manager Ramón Díaz at Club América and San Lorenzo. He is one of the few players to have played for three of the "Big Five" clubs in Argentina: Boca Juniors, River Plate and Club Atlético Independiente.
Current, he is the coach of Crucero del Norte.Todavía (album)
Todavìa is an album by Italian singer Mina, issued in 2007.
The album features 13 songs in Spanish and one in Portuguese, and includes seven duets with Latin-American, Spanish and Italian stars.Walter Samuel
Walter Adrián Luján Samuel (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈwalteɾ saˈmwel]; born Walter Adrián Luján; 23 March 1978) is a retired Argentine professional footballer. Samuel has been regarded as one of the best centre-backs of his generation, and as one of football's toughest defenders, with former international teammate and Inter captain Javier Zanetti referring to him as the "hardest player" he has played with.
Samuel began his club career with domestic club Newell's Old Boys in 1996, later moving to Boca Juniors the following year. This was soon followed by a move to Europe in 2000, and spells with Italian club Roma, and Spanish club Real Madrid. In 2005, he returned to Italy, joining Inter, where he remained for nine seasons, winning five consecutive Serie A titles; he played a key role in the club's treble success in the 2009–10 season, partnering with Lúcio in defence under José Mourinho. At international level, he has accumulated over 50 caps for the Argentine national team, representing his country at two FIFA World Cups, the 1999 Copa América, and the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he won a runners-up medal.