Javier Zanetti, the retired legendary right-back of Inter Milan, has revealed that he declined numerous offers from several big clubs, including Manchester United.
Zanetti is regarded as one of the best full-backs to ever play the beautiful game of football. The Argentine defender spent almost 20 years with the Italian giants, and his love for the club during his time there saw him reject quite a few attractive offers.
The former Nerazzurri endured six seasons without any silverware between 1998-2004, and yet, to the delight of Inter fans, he did not consider leaving the club even with offers from big European clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.
However, his faith and patience was well rewarded in the end, as the Argentine went on to win 5 Serie A titles and the coveted Champions League in 2010 with Inter.
Speaking in the July 2017 issue of FourFourTwo, Zanetti revealed: “There were some firm rumours of Manchester United wanting to sign me during the late ’90s. I once saw Alex Ferguson in an airport while I was in England with my wife.”
The Argentine then shed light on the conversation with the former Manchester United boss. He said: “We talked a bit about football, but I was always centered in my idea of staying with Inter, even in those complicated years, and it would have been difficult for me to go under any circumstances.
“It wasn’t just Manchester United, there were other big clubs as well, but my love for Inter always tipped the scales.”
Zanetti also spoke of his love towards his former club, by stating: “Being captain, I wanted to leave an important mark on the club.
“Yes there were hard times, but the management showed trust in the squad being built and we worked together to achieve the goals we wanted for so long. When you sign for Inter, the club makes you think that you are part of a family, like a new son.”
Written by Shorya Panwar
Has 20+ years of experience managing Schalke in Football Manager 2017. Believes wing-backs are the most complete footballers in the modern/evolved football. Writes weird stuff on his personal blog.