Inter Milan legend Javier Zanetti looks back on his youth and the rough path that eventually led him to sign for the Italian giants.

The Argentine left an eternal legacy at the club after 19 serving the club on the pitch for 19 memorable years.

The 50-year-old remains part of the club, currently serving as vice-president.

Nevertheless, Zanetti’s road towards the top wasn’t easy. In fact, he was rejected by his favorite club Independiente for being too thin.

Yet, the Nerazzurri icon managed to bounce back from the blow and eventually earned his ticket to European football.

“When I was 13, I was rejected by the team I supported, Independiente. It was a very difficult moment for me,” revealed Zanetti in an interview with Canale 5 via FcInter1908.

“At that moment, I started working with my father, who was a bricklayer. It was a great experience. I understood the sacrifices that my parents made for me and my brother. This made me mature.”

Zanetti then joined Banfield. His performances for the Argentine club caught Inter Milan’s attention.

Yet, when the Nerazzurri signed the youngster in 1995, he thought it was all a joke.

“Inter was an unexpected call. In Argentina, I played for Benfield, which is not such a big team.

“I remember that I was in South Africa for a friendly match with the national team. Our coach was Daniel Passarella, a former Inter player himself.

“He called me to his room and said ‘Come, I have some news for you’. That was back in 1995, a fax had arrived!

“It said ‘FC Internazionale is buying Javier Zanetti’. I thought this couldn’t be true, I had only started my career and I immediately received such an opportunity!

“I instantly went to my room and called Paula and my parents, I asked them to watch the news and verify the story. It was true!

“I arrived here at Inter full of dreams, and with the awareness that it was my great opportunity.”

“Many years have passed now. But I remain very close to the team.

“At every training session, at every match, I try to contribute by working from the outside. These are unique moments, which will remain forever.”