Retired Argentine and Champions league winner Javier Adelmar Zanetti has shared his thoughts when asked about the best footballer.
In an interview, the former captain of Inter Milan stated that, Lionel Messi deserved the 7th Ballon Dor. He went on to say that Messi cannot be compared to any player of his generation and that football lovers should enjoy him whilst he lasts.
Zanetti who is regarded as one of the best players of his generation especially for his role in Jose Mourinho’s treble for the Italian club.
Zanetti was known for his versatility as well as his adeptness on both the left and right wing, having played as a full back on both flanks in addition to being a midfielder. He is currently the Vice-President of Inter.
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.
Having participated in 1,115 official games, he is on the list of men’s footballers with the most official 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 Gianluigi Buffon, Paolo Maldini and Francesco Totti.
He holds the record for the most appearances 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 also has the most appearances as captain in the Champions League (82).
With the Argentina national team he played in 143 games, a figure that makes him the third player with the most appearances in the history of La Albiceleste, having held the record from 2007 to 2018.
With Argentina he reached the final of the Copa América in 2004 and 2007, and the Confederations Cup in 1995 and 2005.
On retiring, Inter Milan retired his number 4 jersey and named him as its vice president. 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.