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:
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:
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.
As soccer addicts enter the withdrawal stages of their soccer addiction with the completion of the European club season, I thought there would be no better way to incite a collective relapse within the soccer community than by posting this incredibly well-done video of Messi’s best 50 career goals, both for club and country. For a guy with nearly 250 career goals, it was no small feat to make this list.
While watching this video, one can’t help but marvel at the technique required for each of these goals and the diversity in types of goals he scored. It seems as though Messi scored in every conceivable way. The video highlights chips, free kicks, slaloming runs through a defense, volleys, headers, heat-seeking lasers, calm finishes to the corner, and even a chested goal. At the risk of stating the obvious, this Argentine is not just a goal-scorer but a finisher in every sense of the word. Whether Messi was decimating domestic foes in La Liga or European rivals in the Champions League or international adversaries during national team duty, no opponent was spared from his exploits.
Since many of these goals are already world-famous, I thought I’d add a few comments on some of the less renowned goals and moments from the video. For instance, at 6:18 (goal # 32), note the pass by Andres Iniesta. Next, at 7:11 (goal # 30), witness Messi strike a perfect volley off the post and into the net versus Bayern Munich just a few months after his 20th birthday. At 8:29 (goal # 25), please take the time to appreciate the poise to serenely dribble through the heart of the penalty box before calmly slotting the ball past the goalkeeper. Goal # 14 (at 12:00), may very well be the most technical goal of the bunch. It is a wonder to watch Messi negotiate such a tight space and still be able to finish in the top corner. At 12:36 (goal # 12), simply enjoy the beauty and ease at which Messi creates the goal against my beloved Sevilla FC. Last, but certainly not least, at 15:48 (goal # 4), take note of the deft touch that leaves the goalkeeper helpless. How many other players even attempt that goal?