Inter Coach Andrea Stramaccioni has underlined the importance of Javier Zanetti in a touching note posted on the club’s website.
The 39-year-old captain is set to be sidelined for the next six months after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in the defeat at Palermo.
“On Sunday, I knew right away that something serious had happened,” the tactician, who is actually younger than Zanetti, noted. “I had never seen Zanetti gesture in that way.
“Javier, as I have always said, is Inter’s guiding light and to see him leave on a stretcher was a terrible blow for us – one of the many we’ve suffered this season.
“But in football, as in life, you shouldn’t spend too much time looking back. You need to pick your head up and get going again, to turn the page right away and re-write a new story that can perhaps turn out better than the previous one.
“Zanetti is not a normal player for Inter. Zanetti is Inter, and, just like Inter, he has to get past a difficult moment to become great once again.
“He’s the captain that boasts a thousand records and he’ll fight like he’s always done to lead the team again.
“I, for my part, will only be able to thank him for what he has always given for the shirt, and for what he has always done for me since I arrived.
“Now I’m the one waiting on him. I want him by my side as soon as possible to continue with him, to lead this team to the victories that the club and fans deserve.
“His contribution is too important, and we’re all waiting for him so we can continue making history. The kind of history that, I’m certain, will see this club playing a leading role in Italy, Europe and the world.
“And our captain, Javier Zanetti, will be on the pitch for it.”
The Argentine will be released from hospital later today after successful surgery.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!