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Javier Zanetti: “It was a pride to share some moments with Maradona”

An exclusive interview with Javier Zanetti, in which he reviews anecdotes with Diego Maradona and other football greats.

 Javier Zanetti

 By Jorge Barril Distinguished Football 

 Jorge Barril:  Let's say hello now because we have it online. I'm going to take the authority to declare you as the best man of Distinguished Football because he is also a friend and a gentleman. The other day they asked me on Instagram, they showed me figures and said: you have to define them with a word. When they showed me the figure of this gentleman, I said “a gentleman” didn't I? There are other ways to define it, but good in all the way we're going to talk. When you don't find a way to introduce someone, because how do you present it? As one of the players with the most presences in the Argentine National Team, one of the best sides in history, the great captain of Inter, winner of the Champions League, among other things, in 2010, the current vice president of Inter, who is in charge of the “Fundación Pupi”. As I said before, a gentleman, a benchmark of  Argentine football , that's all Javier Zanetti to whom we already salute in Fútbol Distinguido. Javier, how are you? Welcome.

 Javier Zanetti:  Hello Jorgito, how are you doing? It's a pleasure to talk to you, a pleasure to be the godfather of the program. And well, I wish you the best since today they start this new adventure so hopefully they are many but many more and as always talking about football and how well this sport does us. Before I listened to the song and how not to get excited remembering what  Diego  was doing in the warm-up, the truth that that was Diego, transmitted emotions permanently and what he was able to do with the ball it was unique.

 Jorge Barril:  And you who had the chance to meet him to talk to him, was someone with a very special magnetism, wasn't it?

 Javier Zanetti:  Diego was very special. They are those people who always leave you something when they talk to you and had that ability to convey the passion for football, what the Argentine National Team meant for him. I really was proud to share some moments with Diego.

Maradona and Zanetti

 Jorge Barril:  You know that Diego always said, when he played and after playing, that the Argentines stay calm, that the Argentines know, he always named the Argentines, didn't he? He always had Argentines very present all the time.

 Javier Zanetti:  Always, always. And that's what happens to you when you're lucky, like me, to travel the world and you say Argentina right away they say Maradona. So that is the legacy he left and the truth that for us we love football was to enjoy every moment he played with the Argentine National Team and with the clubs that he had to defend the shirt.

 Jorge Barril:  What was Diego's goal you screamed most, Pupi?

 Javier Zanetti:  I think it was definitely the one from  England , because beyond that surely was the best in history, which means, you know very well for the Argentines, the rival, the world cup and that world cup I think I was just 12 years old and I lived it in full. I remember that after that match, I lived in the Dock, in my humble house and all the neighbors going out to the street to celebrate the triumph that meant going to the quarterfinals or the semifinal of the World Cup.

“Pass that time of recording the song and what the lyrics mean, right? it was also a very nice time that we enjoyed”

 Jorge Barril:  Of course, it was decidedly impressive. Javier, did you see that I was telling you we were looking for songs? And it's not going to be too long for it to appear, among the football songs that we are going to play, a song that has a great performer. It is the anthem of a very important club in Italy, Italy and the world and sings a certain Javier Zanetti, I don't know if you ever heard it.

 Javier Zanetti:  Yes, the truth was a very nice, special moment, because recording it with my teammates spend that time of recording the song and what the lyrics mean, right? It was also a very nice time that we enjoyed.

 Jorge Barril:  Yes. And do you remember who sang? There was Matías Almeyda, there was Chino Recoba...

 Javier Zanetti: There  was Chino Recoba, Hernán, Marcos Materazzi, Cordoba. Yeah, if it was a nice band. There was the  Cuchu , then we did another version with the triplet, so, a nice time we shared with everyone.

 Jorge Barril:  Yes, really very interesting. I tell everyone that talking to Javier, you play football, Javier is Inter, right? I think the vast majority know it, but we have to be there to understand it even more. I'm not going to hide it, and people know me, they know that my heart is  neroazzurro  since very little and that I am a  typhoid interist  ever and Javier also has a lot of responsibility in that. When you go to  Milano , Javier is the emblem of Inter and he is the one that runs, presidents have passed after Moratti's departure and Inter always keeps that line, because well Javier, you'll take care of that, right? that everyone knows who Inter is. Those who arrive, the usual ones, the adversaries, the leaders. Let everyone know what Inter means, right?

“Inter was the club that opened the doors for me and I am very grateful to”


 Javier Zanetti:  Truth, well, I feel very identified since I arrived here in Italy back in '95. Because Inter was the club that opened my doors and with which I am very grateful and a very strong  legame  was created. With the fans, with all the people who are part of the family, for me Inter is family and I think that for me it also has a lot of value. And as you say well you were changing the presidents and I was there with the function above all to be able to transmit what is the DNA of the institution, the identity. And the truth makes me very happy and very happy because Inter to me means a lot.

 Jorge Barril:  It was like the era of Giacinto Facchetti ended and Javier Zanetti's was there, didn't it?

 Javier Zanetti:  Mirá, Giacinto for me was always a referent, a person well present and that will always be like this and that will always stay in our hearts, because beyond what he did as a player in the history of inter, which was very important, what he conveyed later s as a human being was also very but very important. And when I was appointed vice president, happy, happy, but at the same time I realized that it was also a big responsibility. Because today I'm representing one of the most important teams in the world and I felt like I had to prepare for that. Not because of the fact that I played so much in Inter, that gives me the credit that he's already there. For me the player stage was over and a new one started as a leader and when I was nominated as vice president I started studying at Bocconi University, because I didn't want to be a president, or a leader who is only linked to the sports part. If not I wanted to have a 360-degree vision. As you said well, to represent the club, to be able to work with the different areas that are important and that that also allows you to have peace of mind and sustainability for the first team. So I was supporting several areas. Supporting and transmitting my experience while I am studying and always try to contribute the best to the benefit of the club.

 Jorge Barril:  You know that I was going to ask you because you had told me about it and I knew you had prepared yourself and that is an example, it is an example for everyone. If someone consecrated, successful, virtuoso like Javier Zanetti faces, even in a place where they want him so much, has to assume a new role and prepares for this, it has to do with that one has to be preparing for a lifetime.

 Javier Zanetti:  Yes, because out there also people who look at it from the outside, who are not informed, or don't know well, link you only with the sports side and with the result. But I can assure you that, having done the career I did for many years, I already know the sports part quite well and I wanted to train in other areas, as I was saying. And I went and traveled so much to value the Inter brand worldwide, we have opened many academies that means getting into an economical way for the club. I am also doing a lot of things with marketing and feeling useful also in these different areas, which especially benefit the club, is very important for me.

“You can't imagine how many fans Inter has in the world and that makes me very but very happy”

 Jorge Barril:  Well, one is also participating in some of this thanks to Javier. Of course, thanks to your generosity and initiative, right? The first official Interclub in Latin America was Argentina, it is Argentina. Then others were adding up, I think the second was Colombia and so they were adding. And we're talking about Latin America, we're talking about Mexico, Central America and South America, I think Paraguay was about to become official and I think that, except Uruguay, there is already official Interclub throughout South America and Central America, there is Mexico, they're all there. And we've nucleated it, obviously under the umbrella of Pupi, we've nucleated them all. And an Interclub Latinoamérica has been formed. Right now they're listening to us, I want you to know they're listening to us because they were obviously aware of the show.

 Javier Zanetti:  First I take this opportunity to greet everyone and thank them for the support they always give us at distance and that was also a goal that I set myself as vice president. To be able to gather as many fans from Latin America, create that line, that contact so that you feel much closer to the club and also be part of what is happening. So happy because it finally came true and well, it's a starting point and hopefully we can walk this road together with great results.

 Jorge Barril:  You always say Pupi that even if there are miles away, you and Inter really feel that fans anywhere in the world are always close, right?

 Javier Zanetti:  Yes, yes and that I always highlight because as I said at the beginning I was lucky that I had to travel so much around the world and you can't imagine how many fans Inter has in the world and that makes me very but very happy. And especially now that we are going through this moment, unfortunately, of the pandemic, we try to create content via the different platforms that we were knowing about this what is happening. We also try to keep in touch to make them feel part.

 Jorge Barril:  Good Pupi, good. I want to tell one thing and I'm going to open the game for my teammates also in Distinguished Football to ask you. People know you're from  Banfield , I enjoyed Javier in Banfield too. So I had up to that privilege and one day I talked to Javier because he contacted me through Ricardo Perrone, who is the president of Interclub Argentina, they contacted me and knew that I was  neroazzurro since I was a kid,  then they contacted me and that's how the story began. So, as with Javier we have a friendship relationship, when it came up, I first went to Meazza and we saw a match together with Pupi, an Inter-Roma, one day that won Inter 2 to 1 and poor Pupi spoke to him as a fan, I drove him crazy. He put up with me, I don't know how he did, but he put up with me. I forgot about the journalist and talked everything to him like a fan. But then we had one more meeting, then on a Friday I say, “Pupi, are you here for us to meet all the people of Inter Argentina? “But listen to this, when I talk about Inter Argentina, you were coming from Salta, Jujuy, Rio Negro, right? Because Javier was coming. I want you to understand, they were traveling by car or by plane just to come to lunch with Javier and then, well obviously enjoy some Buenos Aires, they walked and then turned. Javier, on Friday he told me “No problem, I'm going to a farewell match in Saudi Arabia and on Monday I'm there. “On Friday, I said, “But Javier, are you really talking to me? How are you going to Arabia on a Friday, how much do you have to travel to Arabia? How much is there Pupi to Arabia? ”

 Javier Zanetti:  No, there's enough here.

 Jorge Barril:  Back and forth, played the match and returned. And on Monday at noon you were there with us.

 Javier Zanetti:  Yes, that was a nice moment when we got together, because as you say well you came people from many places. And I think it was the first encounter, where the idea also started to be born and that's what I always rescued, respect for people, for the fan. As I say well, feel the Inter fan thousands and thousands of miles and you know that they are supporting you and that they are behind you and everything you do, that is also important for the club, for the growth of the club. And the truth, I repeat again, that the project of Inter from here Latin America has started for me has a very special feeling.

 “ In Italy we are going through the second wave of infection and every day we discover something new” 

 Jorge Barril:  Yes, definitely.   Well, here we are with the guys who want to ask. We have a few minutes left so they can talk to you well, too, Rochi?

 Rosario:  Hello Pupi, a taste, Rosario greets you. A few minutes ago you mentioned the issue of  pandemic  , didn't you? and work in this context, in this new reality do you think there should be adjustments I don't know, for example, in the calendar or other measures such as reduction in the number of teams in the league perhaps?

 Javier Zanetti:  Look at this is a situation that came like this, no one expected it. Unfortunately here in Italy we are going through the second wave of infection and I think we live up to date because every day we discover something new and it is true. What was last year, as the season ended, playing a lot of games in a few days, what the new season is doing because we had little time to prepare it and it was already starting another tournament again with the disadvantage also that people are not going to the stadiums. So there are many open issues that are unfortunately happening because of this pandemic. I think we need to make a very important reflection because I think that the first thing that needs to be safeguarded is football. So for the good of all institutions, I am not just talking about Italy but all the countries where there are important championships, you have to stop the ball and think well how this is going to follow.

“Messi had to mark it in the two semifinals and you can imagine how complicated it is”

 Tachi Álvarez:  Well Javier, Tachi Álvarez greets you here from Barcelona. I'm gonna take you a little to the  football field. In this program we claim a little to the defenders and my question is this: Could you give me a top 3 of the most difficult strikers you have ever had to score in your football career?

 Javier Zanetti:  Look, I was lucky or privileged to play against big players, because the truth that I have faced great players, I can tell you Zidane that one day Simoni made me score man the whole match and it's quite complicated. Milan's first Kaka was an impressive thing. There is a video that always happens on YouTube of a race that we do half the court that I end up throwing myself at my feet. And, well, Messi too, because  Messi  had to mark it in the two semifinals and you can imagine how complicated it is. I enjoyed it as a partner of the National Team but also had to be 100% focused when I had to face it.

 Tachi Álvarez:  That is what Lionel is going to be but it is impossible, totally impossible.

 Javier Zanetti:  These are those players that you say look, he probably does this but when you are there and you face it you don't know why, but it always goes on one side, for the other. But good are these different players that there are few.

“You saw Ronaldo and enjoyed him when he played with Barcelona”

 Juan Cruz Wolff:  Pupi, Juan Cruz Wolff, you haven't got rid of my old man yet and now I grab the posta me. (Laughter) Pupi, what I wanted to ask you most of all is: you played with a lot of players and against, but who surprised you technically? That player you say wow, look at what he does, both in a training or in a match, right?

 Javier Zanetti:  Ronaldo, Ronaldo the phenomenon. When he got to Inter, it was an awesome thing. You saw it and enjoyed it when I played with Barcelona and said “Look at the power it has” and when he came to Inter Italy they all said “Yes but the Italian championship is much more complicated it will be me not going to be the same” and the guy what did the first a& ntilde; or with us it was one thing... Enjoy it in the workouts, then enjoy it in the games and the truth was an amazing thing. He is also part of this group of players with Messi who are different.

 Juan Cruz Wolff:  Sure. A pity that the pass fell with Real Madrid, you would have enjoyed much more.

 Jorge Barril:  What you're saying is unnecessary. Listen to me Javi, I had to seat Juan Cruz the two games you don't know what it was, do you? Good thing I didn't bet anything this time. Do you know I always remember Javi? Where did you raise the ear?

“You always dream of winning the Champions League and I had to do it at the age of 37.”

 Javier Zanetti:  In Madrid, it's true, look what football is like, right? That one always dreams of winning the Champions League and I had to do it at the age of 37, just that match was 700 with Inter and in a stadium like Bernabeu, a historic stadium. I think that with all the times I dreamed of that moment, I would never have imagined that I was going to play in a historic stadium like Bernabeu.

 Jorge Barril:  Look, how good, the truth was exciting. I used to talk about the match with Barcelona, I tell you what was played in Camp Nou; they were giving me oxygen when it finished.

 Javier Zanetti:  But not only you, all the people too. When you find her and you start talking, she always says that, right? But for those of us on the court it was endless, no longer ended the suffering, but the truth was also a demonstration of how united that group was, was it? That he did the impossible to reach the final, which was the target. Against the best Barcelona. I think it was the best team at that time for me.

 Jorge Barril:  And if, right? He won the triplet for that semifinal because he recalls that he had won in 2009 and in 2011 he won again.

 Javier Zanetti:  Of course, he had won it the previous year and then he won it again after us.

 Jorge Barril:  Luckily only Italian team with triplet. I'm sorry I got a chest, but hey, it's a little bit out of me. Javi, talking to you, the truth is that you can't, we have so much to talk about and good.

 Javier Zanetti:  There's going to be a chance.

 Jorge Barril:  I know, I know. I don't know, we were in Italy. We've enjoyed so many things. There is a painting in your restaurant “El Botinero” which is a painting of a ball that you and Maldini are going to play, which is crazy. It's a painting that's beautiful.

 Javier Zanetti:  It's spectacular. I love that photo because it is also fair against a great rival like Pablo, a friend that I respect very much for the slap he had in Milan and the truth that that painting is very nice.

 Jorge Barril:  Look, and another thing I remember that the last match we went with Vito to tell for ESPN, just at that time was Mauro Camoranesi, did you see? That I knew him a lot too because he played in Banfield and I played him there, played him a wine. We tied one by one that day then we got tied with Mauro. He played for Juve and I played for Inter...

 Javier Zanetti:  But you took the wine anyway. (Laughter)

 Jorge Barril:  Yes, I took it there in El Botinero, then at night. Well, Pupi thank you for the time with all my heart and send you a huge hug.

 Javier Zanetti:  No, please. A big hug to you, thank you for naming me the best man and I wish you to be the first program of many more.

 Jorge Barril:  Pupi, thank you. Greetings to Paula, the family and everyone and you are very well, thank you very much.

 Javier Zanetti:  Big hug.

 Listen to the audio of the interview by clicking   here  

Pupi Zanetti

Publication Date: 09/02/2021

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We suggest you continue reading the following notes:

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By: Clau Pas 10 February, 2021

Un señor bombón Zanetti descubrí que existía un equipo en Italia llamado el Inter solo por él 😍

By: El Xeneize 10 February, 2021

Un fenómeno el Pupi...

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