Sunday November 16 2014
Zanetti welcomes Mancini to Inter

Inter Vice-President Javier Zanetti said it is “a great pleasure” to have Roberto Mancini back on the bench.

Mancio was already Coach from 2004 to 2008 and returned this weekend to replace Walter Mazzarri.

“It’s a great pleasure to have Mancio back. I was his captain when we started to win trophies,” Zanetti told the Corriere della Sera.

The interview was about his relationship with the city of Milan, right from his arrival in the summer of 1995.

“It was raining. I immediately hired a car and went to the Stadio Meazza. It was closed, so I just walked round it for an hour or two, looking up every now and then and getting emotional. I was moved to tears along with my father and mother, who accompanied me to Milan.

“First we were staying at the Hotel Carlton in via Senato, then we found a house not far from Appiano Gentile so I could be close to the training camp.”

That choice of location represents Zanetti’s career, which has always been focused on discipline, hard work and a total lack of scandal.

“I really never did anything crazy, unless you count the first restaurant I bought. I went to the Gaucho with Guglielminpietro, another Argentine player, but the food really wasn’t Argentinean. We found out the owner was, with all due respect, Mexican.

“We wanted to invest some money, so we offered to buy it off him.”

Zanetti now co-owns the Botinero restaurant in Milan with ex-Inter teammate Esteban Cambiasso.

Although he retired this summer to become Vice-President at Inter, Zanetti reveals he “still plays occasionally” with friends at Triestina’s training ground in via Novara.

“I’ve often been up to the top of the Duomo, with Moratti or my kids. I pray and go to the roof. The new skyscrapers are nice, but perhaps they don’t really fit in with the classic profile of the Milan skyline.”

Finally, Zanetti was asked about the players he had faced in his long career.

“The toughest player to mark? Zidane. The best of all? Ronaldo. Our opponents wanted to hack him down and still couldn’t get him. He was spectacular.”

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