Happy Birthday “Il Capitano” Javier Zanetti
Today (10th August) is our great captain’s 38th Birthday, he was born in 1973 in Dock Sud, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. ‘Pupi’ is one of the most respected players in world football with over 1000 appearances for club and country, he is known for his strength, resilience, stamina, and his ability to run past opposing defenders when joining the attack. He is also one of the most versatile players around too with the ability to play in several positions from LB/ LWB, RB/ RWB, LM, RM and DMC. He is primarily a defensive player but he has been known to run the wings joining the attack and has scored 34 goals across all competitions.
He made his Inter debut on the 27th August 1995 aged 22 years old in a Serie A match against Vicenza, and who would have thought on that day that 16 years later he’d still be here as one of our greatest ever players and Captains. It is well known in the football world that Zanetti is a devout Interisti with a love for the club very rarely seen in players of any club, he was quoted as saying-
“Inter means a lot to me, 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.”
Jose Mourinho said –
“All players want to be like Javier Zanetti.”
And fellow countryman and ex Nerazzurri player Diego Simeone was quoted as saying –
“Only one emotion that I never saw from Javier Zanetti, is that of anger.”
Like Facchetti before him Zanetti is a symbol of Inter and is in the hearts of all Interista, but also his name is linked with great historical records for both club and country
He is just five matches away from equaling Beppe Bergomi’s all time record of 758 appearances for Inter
On the 23rd January 2011 in the match between Inter and Udinese he reached 520 Serie A appearances in an Inter shirt, breaking Bergomi’s record of 519
He is the most successful captain in Inter’s history winning 16 trophies with us, 15 of which since he was given the captain’s armband in 1999.
On the 11th May 2011 in the semi-final of the Coppa Italia against Roma he joined an exclusive group of only ten players in the history of football to make 1000 proffesional appearences
With 536 games played in Serie A, he is in seventh place overall among the hundred players with more appearances, but he is the first among foreign players
He is number 1 in the ranking of Serie A appearances for active players
He has never been sent off in a Serie A match
He has had very few injuries in his career
And with 145 caps for Argentina, he is their all time most capped player
It has long been known that when his playing career comes to an end Zanetti will follow in Facchetti’s footsteps and take a role amongst Inter’s board of directors meaning that long after his retirement from playing he will continue to be a great influence over the Nerazzurri squad and the club in general.
Finally on behalf of the entire Inter Milan Fans Worldwide community i would like to say
Happy Birthday ‘Pupi’ we salute you!