Javier Zanetti marches on in Inter’s darkest hour
By Gary Armstrong
The legends are leaving in droves. Owen. Scholes. Van Bommel. Metzelder. Carragher. Beckham. But at the age of 39, the career of Javier Zanetti goes on, despite a ruptured achilles tendon.
Vastly under-appreciated on British shores, Javier Zanetti is rightly acclaimed for his contribution to Inter and Italian football since his arrival from Argentina in 1995. Underlining the full back’s unquestionable spirit and love for the game, Zanetti – Inter’s record appearance holder having played in 847 matches – has vowed to pull on the famous black and blue jersey once more at the age of 40 and to return from an injury that is likely to see him spend 6 months on the sidelines at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Inter, embroiled in what is arguably their greatest crisis of the last 20 years, need their talismanic full-back now more so than ever before. An abominable record has seen the Nerazzuri slump to a lowly 9th place finish, which is their lowest in Serie A since the their ill-fated season of 1993/94. It’s also the first time that they have not qualified for European competition since 92/93. Meanwhile, old adversaries Milan, and in particular Juventus, appear to be going from strength to strength, leading the Italian game while Internazionale trail in their wake, several positions beneath them.