Dear Inter fans and sports fans around the world: thank you!
Thank you for having supported my family and me with your warm and loving embrace and your friendship and respect in my final matches on the pitch. It’s a beautiful lesson as regards both sport and emotion!
In my life as a footballer I put in a lot of effort when it came to training, the pitch, my relationship with the fans, in the gym after injuries and with my PUPI Foundation. During all this time I always believed that football was not only the greatest sport and the job that brings the most happiness, but that it is also functions as a school that teaches values and feelings, whether it be a game between a few friends or a match being broadcast around the world.
This is what my father taught me when I worked with him as a bricklayer. And it’s what you have taught me with your love and support!
Dear Inter fans, you will always remain in my heart, with our colours, our flags and our style. I hope to serve the club as a director as I did on the pitch wearing the number 4: a captain both on and off the pitch. In our trophy-winning days and our forgettable periods, we always stuck together as Interisti, and that is how we shall remain.
Dear Argentina fans, I had the honour of wearing the Albiceleste shirt as a captain. With you I await another victory and I will always be a fan. Just as it was when I was a child, jumping up and down on my mother’s sofa with each goal.
Dear team-mates who saluted me with your embraces – the same embraces we shared so many times on the pitch after a beautiful victory – and dear fans of the opposing teams. It is sporting rivalry that makes winning so great, and renders losing acceptable. Facing off on the pitch makes sport a model for life. It is where individuals do not count, but rather the team, and where goals scored and let in always provide a lesson.
So I say thanks. This captain salutes you, but he’s not hanging up his boots: the never-ending game has only just begun!
Javier Zanetti 4 Ever
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