Javier Adelmar Zanetti (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈβjeɾ saˈneti]; born 10 August 1973) is an Argentine former footballer. He played most of his career for Serie A club Internazionale, from 1995 to 2014, and served as their captain from 1999, earning him the nickname "Il Capitano" ("The Captain"). Known for his versatility, he was adept on both the left and right wing, having played on both flanks as a full-back, as well as a winger. He could also play as a defensive midfielder. On retiring, the club retired his number 4 jersey and named him as its vice president.
Known as "Pupi" in Argentina, Zanetti was born in Buenos Aires, picking up the nickname "El Tractor" ("The Tractor") soon after his move to Italy, where his strength, resilience, stamina and ability to run past opposing defenders when joining the attack from his right-back position earned him reverence. Zanetti won several honours with Inter, including five Serie A and four Coppa Italia titles. The 2010 UEFA Champions League Final on 22 May 2010 was Zanetti's 700th game with Inter, and the team's victory on the night made him the only captain to win a treble with an Italian club. Internationally, he holds the record of the most capped player in the history of the Argentine national team. He won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympic tournament, and played in five Copa América tournaments, two FIFA Confederations Cups, and two World Cups (1998 and 2002), winning runners-up medals at the 2004 and 2007 Copa América tournaments, and in the 1995 and 2005 Confederations Cups.
Zanetti holds the record for the highest all-time appearances by a non-Italian born player for an Italian club and his 858 official matches for the club put him first in Inter's all-time appearances list. He holds the most competitive appearances for an outfield-player in football history, with 1,123 matches played; only goalkeepers Rogério Ceni (1,257) and Peter Shilton (1,362) have played more matches. Zanetti is also noted for his charity work, running a foundation to benefit disadvantaged children in Argentina. He has been named an ambassador for the SOS Children's Villages project in Argentina by FIFA, and in 2005 he received the Ambrogino d'Oro award from the city of Milan for his social initiatives. Zanetti is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics.Close