Zanetti: “Why I picked number 4, and the match against Barcelona”

February 9, 2016 14:56
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In a long and interesting interview by Ultimo Uomo with the current vice-president of Inter, Javier Adelmar Zanetti, the former Inter player retraced the most important stages of his playing career, with the peak reached in the final in Madrid when he lifted the Champions League as captain. There were also som difficult moments, like the dual problems suffered in Palermo, first in 2010 and then in 2013.

VICE-PRESIDENT – “For me, Inter has always been a big family. When I retired I accepted this leadership role because I can keep up with the development of the ‘Fundación Pupi’, which is close to my heart.”

FOOTBALL AND LIFE – “I have always lived football with a lot of passion. I grew up respecting the sport as a profession because the real difficulty is to remain at high levels. Discipline is essential, in football as in life.”

FAME – “I notice it, especially in summer, when we bike around Lake Como with my children. The same also in Argentina, where people particularly admire the work that I have done with my foundation.”

NUMBER 4 – “When I arrived in 1995 it was one of the few shirts available. In Argentina this number represents the position of full-back, while usually in Italy it is the 2.”

WORLD CUP 2010 – “We won everything with Inter and I played all the games and in various positions, but unfortunately that’s football. Diego (Maradona, editor’s note) has always tried to be a unique coach, one that was as a player.”

ROBERTO BAGGIO – “He is a footballing genius and on a human level he is a remarkable person. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with him at Inter.”

BARCELONA – “In a sense, the final of the Champions League of 2010 was played in the match against the Blaugrana. It was an endless game because we knew it was the best team around, but we had too much desire to not go all the way. Paradoxically, I think that eleven against eleven it would have been even harder to keep the result because even we would have had more chances to attack.”

BAYERN MUNICH – “The most beautiful night, no doubt. To raise the Champions League as an Inter captain after 45 years was a unique experience, made even more special by the many Inter fans present in Madrid celebrating with us and who had already filled a historic stadium two hours before the kick off.”

REAL MADRID – “They tried to get me, but I didn’t accept because I had no intention of leaving without leaving a trace in Milan. Winning with Inter had a different taste and I couldn’t leave and then not do what I did out of love for this shirt.”

FEAR – “In Palermo in 2010 I could not breathe. It was a rare feeling I never felt before. It was strange because when I finished the game I began to feel discomfort in the chest as I climbed the stairs of the plane to return to Milan. Then I was examined and saved myself by this much from an operation (makes the sign with his fingers indicating a space of two centimeters, ed).”

INJURIES – “I am an optimist by nature. In football hard times happen, it is unthinkable that in a whole season everything goes perfectly. But the important thing is to address the difficulties with a positive attitude.”

LAVEZZI – “When we beat Napoli on penalties in the Italian Cup I told him he was a great one. You can make mistakes on penalties, but he had the character to go and kick it. Then he wished me luck in the future and for the rest of the season.”


By Olof Svensson