Javier Zanetti is an Argentine former footballer who played as a defender or midfielder. He started his career in Argentina, first with Talleres, and then Banfield. From 1995 to 2014 he played for Italian club Internazionale, and served as captain from 1999, earning him the nickname “Il Capitano” (“The Captain”). With 1114 official games played, in the 2017 he is the fifth player in history with the most career appearances. He is also the foreign player with the most appearances in Serie A (615), and holds the fourth-most appearances in the league, behind only Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon and Francesco Totti. He is the most capped player in the history of Inter (858), and won 16 trophies with the club: five Scudetti, four Coppa Italia, four Supercoppa Italiana, one UEFA Cup, one Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. He is also the most capped player as captain in the Champions League (82). With the Argentina national team he played in 145 games, a figure that makes him the player with the most appearances in the history of La Albiceleste. With Argentina he reached the final of the Copa América in 2004 and 2007, and Confederations Cup in 1995 and 2005. 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.
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The 2006 Supercoppa Italiana was a match contested by the 2005-06 winners Internazionale and the 2005-06 Coppa Italia runners-up Roma. The Coppa Italia runners-up were chosen to play instead of the winners because of the aftermath of the 2006 Serie A match-fixing scandal. As a result, Juventus, the original league winners, were relegated to Serie B and replaced by Inter as champions. Since the Coppa Italia winners were also the newly appointed league champions, the Super Cup spot was given to the runners-up of the Coppa Italia, Roma. The match resulted in a 4–3 win for Inter after extra time.
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Zanetti has shown an incredible social conscience when in response to Argentina’s economic crisis of 2001, which threw millions of people into poverty, Zanetti, with his wife Paula, created the Fundación PUPI in Argentina for the social integration of poor children. The aim of the organization is to help children who were left impoverished by the country’s economic crisis by giving them educational opportunities, as well as taking care of their nutritional requirements.“Pupi” is the nickname of Javier Zanetti. It was given to him by his brother football’s coach when he was very young in Argentina. Since then Javier is “Pupi”.
Roma vs Internazionale
“When I look back to my childhood, many concrete scenes come to my mind, good ones and bad ones. I had a difficult childhood, and even though I don’t live in my country at present, I’m well aware of what’s going on there and the devastating effect it’s having on our poorest children. I’ve always believed that our public actions need to take account of our social responsibility” Javier Zanetti
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The start of the season was marked by the departure of Ronaldo and the arrival of Hernán Crespo after club had already acquired Fabio Cannavaro, Matias Almeyda and Domenico Morfeo. Crespo, along with Vieri, built an attacking duo. Crespo was essential in the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League while Vieri usually scored in the domestic matches. Their partnership worked until Crespo sustained an injury, which sidelined him for several weeks. Without him, despite replaced by Batistuta, Inter lost some key matches. One of these was against Juventus who, could finally aim for the title. Inter managed to get to the Champions League quarter-finals, after passing in second in the group phase. Inter’s opponent was Valencia, winning 1–0 at home. A 2–1 defeat in Spain had no effect on qualification, due to the away goals rule. As Crespo came back from injury, Vieri got injured, but he managed to retain the title of the league’s top scorer, with 24 goals. In the semifinals, Inter lost to Milan due to Shevchenko’s away goal in the second leg, equalized by Martins, for a 1–1 aggregate that sent Milan to the final on away goals. Focused on the European competition, Inter collected two draws in the league that stuck them behind Juventus who won title, the second in row.