Javier Adelmar Zanetti (born in 1973) is an Argentine former professional footballer who played as a full back or midfielder. He started his career in Argentina, first with Talleres, and then Banfield.
From 1995 to 2014 he played for Italian club Inter Milan, and served as captain from 2001. Zanetti is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics. As a part of the squad for 19 seasons and with 858 appearances across all competitions, he is currently the team’s longest-tenured player, and the first overall – surpassing Giuseppe Bergomi (758) – in the all-time list of Inter players by most games played.
Throughout his stay with the club, he won 16 trophies, 15 of which came under his captaincy : the UEFA Cup in 1998, the 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011 Coppa Italia, the 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010 Supercoppa Italiana, the 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09 and 2009–10 Scudetti and the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. Zanetti went 12 years without being sent off in a match.
The first time, he was sent off in his career was on 17 February 1999 in a Coppa Italia match against Parma, but he broke his streak when he was sent off in a Serie A match against Udinese on 3 December 2011.
Zanetti celebrated his 100th cap by helping Argentina win their 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final over Mexico on 26 June 2005, in which he won the Man of the Match award.
During post – playing career, in June 2014, Inter chairman Erick Thohir appointed Zanetti vice-president for a two-year term. Zanetti kept the role upon the change of ownership to the Suning Holdings Group.
On 4 May 2015, during a charitable match at the San Siro, with former and current football stars, organised by Zanetti himself for the opening celebrations for the Expo 2015 in Milan, Inter officially retired Zanetti’s number 4 jersey.