Javier Zanetti has expressed his ‘unconditional love’ for Inter Milan as he prepares for his 600th league appearance for the Serie A giants.
The 39-year-old joined Inter from Banfield in 1995, and has won five Scudettos, four Coppa Italias and a Champions League during a superlative career in Italian football.
He will reach another impressive milestone if he plays against Bologna on Sunday, and the veteran spoke of his immense gratitude towards the club and his delight at the longevity of his career in a week in which the club marks its 105th anniversary.
“I’m proud to be part of this great family that is Inter,” Zanetti told Inter Channel.
“105 years of history is an awful long time and I think no matter what the team is going through, Inter is a club you love unconditionally. That’s what I think and it’s what I feel.
“Inter is a club that is loved by lots of people and I think that’s very important for all of us.”
Zanetti made his Inter debut in a 1-0 home win over Vicenza, which came at the start of the 1995-96 season.
“It’s an awful lot of games, 600 in Serie A,” he said.
“It’s just one more thing I have to thank Inter for. Being the captain for so many years is a great responsibility to have and I always wear the armband with immense pride.
“Let’s hope we can celebrate both my 600 games and Inter’s birthday with a big performance to make up for the defeat in London, and a great victory because we need it to stay up near the top.”