Throwback Thursday – Javier Zanetti

Ok, so this is not a dramatic throwback into the mid-20th century but Javier Zanetti’s career was so long that it feels like I am going back in time to speak of the start. These days, loyalty amongst football clubs is nonexistent. Everyone is looking for the next big money move and every player seems to think that the next club will be better than where they currently are. Zanetti was not one of these players.

His senior professional career lasted an amazing 22 years, 20 seasons of which were played with Inter Milan. His incredible fitness level and consistency on the pitch earned him the nickname “El Tractor.” What I find most amazing about Zanetti is that he looks exactly the same as he did when he started his career. Check proof below:

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - First Knockout Round - First Leg - Inter Milan v Manchester United - Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
Zanetti during his last season with Inter Milan
Olympic Games Atlanta ... Soccer ... Argentina v Portugal
An early shot from Zanetti’s international career.

 

Zanetti stats are unbelievable. He is the most capped player in Argentine history. He played in the 1996 Olympics, five Copa America tournaments and two World Cups. On a club level, he made 715 appearances, netting fifteen goals but what is most impressive is that he holds the record for most ever outfield player appearances, totaling 1123 matches played. He is the only captain to win a treble with an Italian club and is the only non-Italian born player to captain and Italian club.

Zanetti is also well-known for his charity work in Argentina and continues to act as an ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages.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.” He is an incredible human who also has an incredible family seen below:

FC Internazionale Milano v SS Lazio - Serie A

Javier Zanetti is more than deserving of being recognized as one of Inter Milan’s and Argentina’s greatest players of all-time. His contribution to each cause both on and off the field are extraordinary. He is the93rdminute’s Throwback Thursday man of the hour. Check a tribute video to him below.

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