Legend Javier Zanetti calls it a day - set for director role at Inter

Javier Zanetti

The Argentine is approaching the final two games of his playing career, and will be hoping to go out with a bang as Inter chase a Europa League place.

There are few greater fullbacks than Javier Zanetti.

With 22 years as a professional, 19 of which were spent at Serie A giants Inter Milan, there are surely few doubting the impact the Argentine has had on the modern game.

With 145 caps, no player has appeared more times for the Argentinian national team (Zanetti has 30 more appearances than his nearest rival Roberto Ayala), while he has also played more games for the Nerazzurri than anyone else, with a whopping 856 appearances. In fact, in Serie A, no non-Italian has played more games.

But now, those records that seemed to have only a start point and no end, are finally approaching their final entries.

"I feel the time has come," Zanetti said to Argentinian newspaper La Nacion when discussing his impending retirement. "I feel fulfilled and complete.

"To retire at almost 41 still feeling in form has no price."

The 5-time league winner, who suffered a ruptured achilles last year that saw him miss the start of the campaign, has spent much of the rest of the season on the bench, featuring on just 10 occasions.

With just two matches left of the league calendar, Zanetti has precious few moments left on the football pitch, but his impending retirement doesn't fill him with any regret or sadness.

"Football has given me so much and I've enjoyed every moment," he said.

"It is clear that nothing will be as before, but I am ready because I will continue in the world of football and this will keep me alive.

"I dreamed of finishing my career at Inter, in my home, and I have.

"It was a lifestyle decision to end the career in Italy, and now, in the function of a sporting manager, I will try to be useful to the team away from the field."

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