By Anna Italia
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What a moment! I must give my respect to such a symbolic and legendary footballer “Inter Captain Javier Zanetti.” It was Zanetti’s last game as an Inter player at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on Saturday 10 May 2014 ending with a victory qualifying to the Europa League for next year: Inter 4 – 1 Lazio valid for the Serie A Week 37. Zanetti will continue his love story with Inter now as a club director.
Memory lane… Javier Zanetti was born on August 10, 1973 in Buenos Aires Argentina. Zanetti is retiring from active football at 40 years old! Zanetti became the first purchase by former Inter president Massimo Moratti in 1995 transferring from Argentinian team Banfield. Zanetti made his debut with Inter in the game against Vincenza.
Here are the declarations from Zanetti, “”I really struggled to hold back the tears, I’m crying on the inside. It’s an amazing, unforgettable evening,” Javier Zanetti explained to journalists after Inter v Lazio.
“Lots and lots of images passed through my mind tonight. I thank the fans and the Moratti family for the career I’ve been able to have and all the love they’ve given me. I could see what sort of atmosphere there was even before the game – incredible. I’ve always been proud to defend these colours.
“I called Esteban [Cambiasso] over because it was right to salute someone like him who has given so much for this shirt, like all the others.
“It wasn’t easy to take this decision. I’ve given everything I had. I’m glad to be able to quit when I’m physically and mentally fit.
“How did it go? Great, I couldn’t have imagined it any better. It’s been a fantastic evening. My team-mates gave me this brilliant win which means we’re where we wanted to be, in the Europa League. We all cried. I cried on the outside, on the inside, quite honestly I couldn’t keep it in anymore. It’s a never-ending day, one that will never finish.
“I’ll tell the lads who pull on the Inter jersey in future that they have to honour it and defend it as I’ve had the privilege of doing. It’s important to have that sense of belonging and understand what it means to play for Inter and defend these colours across the world. That’s what they need to understand.
“I’ll miss lots of things: the dressing room, drinking mate with Samuel and Milito, the training camps. I’ll carry it all with me for the rest of my life.”
Javier Zanetti becoming a record-man:
Here is the video from Zanetti saluting the fans at the Meazza. Inter players were overwhelmed just watching their iconic captain waving his final goodbye as a player.
Here is the video when Javier Zanetti replaced midfielder Jonathan in the 52nd minute to play his last game at the Meazza as an Inter player.