x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Zanetti still going strong and ready to join the 600 club

The captain Javier Zanetti will make his 600th appearance for Inter Milan in the Serie A clash against Lecce tonight, but the midfielder is not even considering retirement.

Javier Zanetti will join the 600 club for Iter Milan shoul dhe appear against Lecce tonight.
Javier Zanetti will join the 600 club for Iter Milan shoul dhe appear against Lecce tonight.

MiLAN // The captain Javier Zanetti will make his 600th appearance for Inter Milan in the Serie A clash against Lecce tonight, but the midfielder is not even considering retirement. The Argentine, 34, joined Inter in 1995 and has been a mainstay in the team ever since. However, he insists his appetite for the game is not waning. º"I am proud," said Zanetti. "It's unusual nowadays to see players remain at a club for many years and it"s not easy to stay at such a prestigious club for so long.

"I have the same hunger for victories as I had when I joined Inter and I have a strong determination to continue to give a hand to a club that I love so deeply. I still have a long career ahead." Zanetti is still some way behind 40-year-old Paolo Maldini in the Serie A appearances tally, who has played 873 times for AC Milan and is yet to retire. "I would love to achieve the mark of 600 games against Lecce," Zanetti continued. "But my wish is to also celebrate this mark four days later by shaking the hand of Paolo Maldini, a man and a player that I have a lot of respect for." He will fulfil that wish when Inter welcome the Rossoneri to the San Siro on Sunday. In the meantime, though, Inter will be hoping to continue their impressive start to the season against 13th-placed Lecce.

Zanetti attributes the good start to coach Jose Mourinho. "We have a great coach in Jose Mourinho," he added. "He has already left a mark and he really makes everyone feel important." Meanwhile, David Trezeguet will not play for Juventus again until next year, the Serie A club have confirmed.The French striker underwent surgery this morning on both knees and will be sidelined for four months. * PA Sport