MILAN - (Football Data) When he stepped out on the pitch this evening to face Roma in the return leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals, Javier Zanetti made the 1,000th appearance in his long career.
Before tonight, between club and international matches (both at senior and youth levels), the Inter captain had played in 999 competitive games. Born in Buenos Aires on 10 August 1973, Zanetti made 33 appearances in the Argentine 2nd division with Talleres (1992/93) and 66 in the top division wearing the shirt of Banfield (from 1993/94 to 1994/95). With the national team he has 140 appearances, added to which are 12 caps gained playing for the various youth teams of his country.
Since arriving in Italy in the summer of 1995, he has racked up 749 appearances for Inter, remaining on the pitch for 64,756 minutes, entering as a sub 33 times, and being subbed off on 34 occasions. He has received 50 yellow cards and one red. His appearances in an Inter shirt are broken down like this: 534 in Serie A, 63 in the Coppa Italia, 140 in European competitions and 12 in other tournaments. He has scored a total of 21 goals for Moratti's club.
The Nerazzurri captain is the 10th player in history to reach the 1000-match milestone. In the lead we find English goalkeeper Peter Shilton, with 1,390 matches from 1966 to 1997, and behind him in the rankings is Ray Clemence (England) with 1,118 matches from 1965 to 1987. In third place stands a Northern Irishman, Pat Jennings, with 1,096 appearances from 1962 to 1986. In fourth is Alan Ball (another Englishman) with 1,054 from 1962 to 1984, and fifth is David Seaman (England), with 1,047 from 1981 to 2004.
In sixth place is an Italian, Paolo Maldini: the former Rossoneri captain, who played as a professional from 1984 to 2009, collected 1,040 career appearances, including 45 goals, for his club (901), senior national side (126), U-21 team (12) and the Olympic team (1). His debut came on 20 January 1985 in Udinese 1-1 AC Milan (Serie A), when he came on for Battistini. His appearances are divided like so: 648 in Serie A (including one play-off), 72 in the Coppa Italia, 161 in European competition and 20 in other tournaments. For Italy he totalled 126 appearances with the senior team, 12 U-21 appearances and 1 with the Olympic team.
In seventh place is Spanish goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta with 1,013 appearances from 1980 to 1998, and in eighth is a Brazilian, Roberto Carlos, with 1,010 appearances starting in 1991 (but in this case the statistics are not precise due to the lack of reliable sources, as is often the case regarding South American players). Finally, in ninth place is Scotsman Tommy Hutchinson, with 1000 appearances from 1965 to 1991.