Thursday September 29 2011
Inter celebrate Zanetti landmark

Massimo Moratti has led the tributes as Inter celebrate Javier Zanetti's club appearance record.

The Argentine has already reached the 1,000-game landmark in his career and on Wednesday entered the top five all-time appearance list in UEFA club competitions.

Against Novara though, and what Inter are celebrating this week, is that Zanetti reached 757 appearances for Inter, breaking the club record previously held by Beppe Bergomi, the man Zanetti succeeded as captain in 1999.

Inter have arranged a celebration to be held through Thursday at the Terrazza Martini in Milan, the location Zanetti was unveiled as an Inter player 16 years ago.

Moratti presented the footballer with a gift - the FIGC-authorised copy of his first contract as an Inter player in a silver frame - before leading the accolades.

"The true picture of Zanetti is the one we saw in Moscow last night. If you ask me, he was the best player on the pitch. Especially in the first half, he showed that at the age of 38 he's not only still a great player, he's indispensable for any team."

Moratti also went on to speak of his continued importance to the team, and where that will be based.

"He still makes huge difference, on the field and as a man. He is the future of Inter. As a club director? No, on the pitch because he'll play for a long time yet."

Zanetti commented on speculation that he would one day take a role as director at the club.

"It would be wonderful if I were to stay on at Inter in a different role, because it would mean carrying on with the Moratti family, but I haven't thought about it yet.

"I'm concentrating on putting all my passion into the last few years of my playing career, then we'll sit down and talk about things just as any other family does."