Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs discussed Inter legend Javier Zanetti in an interview with English broadcaster MUTV yesterday afternoon.
“The most difficult player to face for me was Javier Zanetti from Inter. He ran all the time. He also played in midfield, so he was comfortable with the ball at his feet.
“He knew how to defend, he was very difficult to overcome, he literally broke my nose in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. As a defender Zanetti had it all.”
Giggs also discussed how he had his nose broken by both Zanetti and an AC Milan player in his autobiography a couple of years ago.
“My celebration was ended when Zanetti broke my nose with his elbow, the same thing happened to me against AC Milan in 2005. Nice, these Milanese people [laughs]. And people keep saying that one day I should have played there.”
Zanetti, who is currently the vice president of Inter, spent his whole professional career in European football with the Nerazzurri, spending 19 years on the pitch as a player for the Milanese club.
He won five league titles, four Coppa Italia, four Supercoppa Italiana, a Champions League, a UEFA Cup and a Club World Cup with Inter.
Zanetti made 858 appearances for the Nerazzurri, across all competitions, in his 19 years with the club. In that time, he scored 21 goals and provided 16 assists, earning only two red cards.
He is now the vice president of the club, working alongside executives like Beppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio to help build a strong future for the club, with the backing of club president Steven Zhang.