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Javier Zanetti

Javier Zanetti
Zanetti with Inter Milan
Personal information
Full nameJavier Adelmar Zanetti
Date of birth10 August 1973(age 43)
Place of birthBuenos Aires, Argentina
Height1.78 m
Playing positionFull back / Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current clubInter Milan

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Javier Adelmar Zanetti (born 10 August 1973 in Dock Sud, Buenos Aires Province) is an Argentine footballer who plays for Serie A club Inter Milan. Javier Zanetti has played for Inter since 1995, taking the captain's armband from 29th August 1999. Known for his versatility, he is adept on both the left and right wing, having played on both flanks as a fullback as well as a winger. He slots into several midfield positions with ease, particularly as a defensive or central midfielder. Internationally, he holds the record of the most capped player in the history of the Argentine national team and has played in the 1996 Olympic tournament and in two World Cups, in 1998 and 2002.

Known as "Pupi" in Argentina, Zanetti was born in Buenos Aires, picking up the nickname "Il Trattore" (The Tractor) soon after his move to Italy where his strength, resilience, stamina, and his ability to run past opposing defenders when joining the attack from his right back position earned him notoriety. More recently, he plays in the right midfield. He ended a 4-year goal drought when he scored on 5 November 2006. In the national team, he is deployed as a right back but is able to switch between defense and attack easily.

Zanetti has won five Serie A titles with Inter, having earned the nickname "Il Capitano" (The Captain) among the fans and media since taking captaincy at Inter. He holds the record for the highest all-time appearances by a non-Italian born player for an Italian club and his 757 official matches for the club put him first in Inter's all-time appearances list. Zanetti, who plans to retire with Inter and continue to work with the club thereafter, is also noted for his charity work, running a foundation to benefit disadvantaged children in Argentina. He has been named an ambassador for the SOS Children's Villages project in Argentina by FIFA, and in 2005, he received the Ambrogino d'Oro award from the Milan townhall for his social initiative. Zanetti is also a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics.

The 2010 UEFA Champions League Final on 22 May 2010 was Zanetti's 700th game with Inter, and the team's victory on the night ensured that Zanetti marked the occasion by completing a historic treble. He also scored on 20 October 2010 against Tottenham to make him the oldest player to score in the UEFA Champions League at the age of 37 years and 71 days. This record has since been surpassed by Filippo Inzaghi and Ryan Giggs.

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