Football Club Internazionale Milano referred to as Internazionale or Inter and colloquially known as Inter Milan outside Italy, is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy. Inter is the only Italian club to have never been relegated from the top flight. Inter has won 30 domestic trophies on par with its local rivals A. C. Milan, including 18 league titles, 7 Coppa Italia and 5 Supercoppa Italiana. From 2006 to 2010, the club won five successive league titles, equalling the all-time record at that time, they have won the Champions League three times: two back-to-back in 1964 and 1965 and another in 2010. Their latest win completed an unprecedented Italian seasonal treble, with Inter winning the Coppa Italia and the Scudetto the same year; the club has won three UEFA Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup. Inter's home games are played at the San Siro stadium known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Shared with rival A. C. Milan, the stadium is the largest in Italian football with a capacity of 80,018.
The local team A. C. Milan are considered among their biggest rivals, matches between the two teams, known as the Derby della Madonnina, are one of the most followed derbies in football; as of 2010, Inter is the second-most supported team in Italy, the sixth most-supported team in Europe. The club is one of the most valuable in Italian and world football, it was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs. The club was founded on 9 March 1908 as Football Club Internazionale, following the schism with the Milan Cricket and Football Club; the name of the club derives from the wish of its founding members to accept foreign players as well as Italians. The club won its first championship in 1910 and its second in 1920; the captain and coach of the first championship winning team was Virgilio Fossati, killed in battle while serving in the Italian army during World War I. In 1922, Inter remained in the top league after winning two play-offs. Six years during the Fascist era, the club was forced to merge with the Unione Sportiva Milanese and was renamed Società Sportiva Ambrosiana.
The team wore white jerseys during this time with a red cross emblazoned on it. The jersey's design was inspired by the coat of arms of the city of Milan. In 1929, club chairman Oreste Simonotti changed the club's name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana, however supporters continued to call the team Inter, in 1931 new chairman Pozzani caved in to shareholder pressure and changed the name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana-Inter, their first Coppa Italia was won in 1938–39, led by the iconic Giuseppe Meazza, after whom the San Siro stadium is named. A fifth championship followed despite Meazza incurring an injury. After the end of World War II the club regained its original name, winning its sixth championship in 1953 and its seventh in 1954. In 1960, manager Helenio Herrera joined Inter from Barcelona, bringing with him his midfield general Luis Suárez, who won the European Footballer of the Year in the same year for his role in Barcelona's La Liga/Fairs Cup double, he would transform Inter into one of the greatest teams in Europe.
He modified a 5–3–2 tactic known as the "Verrou" which created greater flexibility for counterattacks. The catenaccio system was invented by Karl Rappan. Rappan's original system was implemented with four fixed defenders, playing a strict man-to-man marking system, plus a playmaker in the middle of the field who plays the ball together with two midfield wings. Herrera would modify it by adding a fifth defender, the sweeper or libero behind the two centre backs; the sweeper or libero who acted as the free man would deal with any attackers who went through the two centre backs. Inter finished third in the Serie A in his first season, second the next year and first in his third season. Followed a back-to-back European Cup victory in 1964 and 1965, earning him the title "il Mago"; the core of Herrera's team were the attacking fullbacks Tarcisio Burgnich and Giacinto Facchetti, Armando Picchi the sweeper, Suárez the playmaker, Jair the winger, Mario Corso the left midfielder, Sandro Mazzola, who played on the inside-right.
In 1964, Inter reached the European Cup Final by beating Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final and Partizan in the quarter-final. In the final, they met a team that had reached seven out of the nine finals to date. Mazzola scored two goals in a 3–1 victory, the team won the Intercontinental Cup against Independiente. A year Inter repeated the feat by beating two-time winner Benfica in the final held at home, from a Jair goal, again beat Independiente in the Intercontinental Cup. In 1967, with Jair gone and Suárez injured, Inter lost the European Cup Final 2–1 to Celtic. During that year the club changed its name to Football Club Internazionale Milano. Following the golden era of the 1960s, Inter managed to win their eleventh league title in 1971 and their twelfth in 1980. Inter were defeated for the second time in five years in the final of the European Cup, going down 0–2 to Johan Cruyff's Ajax in 1972. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Inter added two to its Coppa Italia tally, in 1977–78 and 1981–82.
Led by the German duo of Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthäus, Argentine Ramón Díaz, Inter captured the 1989 Serie A championship. Inter were unable to defend their title despite adding fellow German Jürgen Klinsmann to the squad and winning their first Supercoppa Italiana at the start of the season; the 1990s was a period of disappointment. While their great rivals Milan and Juventus were achieving success both domestically and in Europe, Inter
AC Bellinzona is a Swiss football club based in Bellinzona. It was founded in 1904, won the Swiss Super League in 1948. After being folded in 2013 declaring bankruptcy, the team played the Ticino Group of 2. Liga, the sixth tier of the Swiss Football League System in 2014–15 season. After winning it and the 1. Liga Classic, Bellinzona is promoted to 1. Liga Promotion. Since Bellinzona is an Italian-speaking region, many of Italy's Serie A clubs loaned youth players to the club to get first team experience. Bellinzona was promoted to the Swiss Super League after beating St. Gallen 5–2 on aggregate in the relegation play-off following the 2007–2008 season. Bellinzona played at the top level in the 2008–2009 season for the first time since the 1989–90 season; as finalists in the Swiss Cup, the team qualified for the 08-09 UEFA Cup where it beat Ararat Yerevan of Armenia in the 1st qualifying round. They knock-out Ukrainian FC Dnipro on away goal rule. In third qualifying round they faced Galatasaray losing both games 3:4 at home ground and 1:2 in Istanbul.
In 2013 before the 2013–14 season of 1. Liga Promotion the club was declared bankrupt. After staying one season playing only at young divisions, the club went back to professional football, joining the 2014–15 2. Liga. After two years in 1. Liga Classic, the club finished first in 2018 and is promoted to the 1. Liga Promotion for 2018–19. Swiss Super League Winners: 1947–48 Challenge League Winners: 1942–43, 1943–1944, 1975–1976, 1979–1980, 1999–2000 1. Liga Classic Winners: 1931–32, 1935–36, 1998–99, 2017-2018 2. Liga Winners: 1920–21, 2014–15 As of 25 March 2019. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Official website http://www.calcioregionale.ch/?1298/2a-lega https://web.archive.org/web/20140908031642/http://www.acbellinzona.ch/index.php/squadre
Club Deportivo Español is an Argentine sports club from the Parque Avellaneda district of Buenos Aires. The club is known for its football team, which plays in the Primera B Metropolitana, the third division of the Argentine football league system. Apart from football, other activities practised at the club are futsal, roller hockey, table tennis; the club was founded in 1956 with the name "Club Deportivo Español" on October, 12. The date was chosen as its foundation date to commemorate the arrived of Christopher Columbus to Americas. Club's first headquarters was in the bar "La Mezquita" of Buenos Aires, after two years of being founded Deportivo Español had about 2,000 members of them were Spanish descendant living in Argentina. In 1957 Español affiliated to the Argentine Football Association and the football team began to participate in the fourth division. Since the team ascended the tiers in Argentine football: in 1958 Español won the championship promoting to "Segunda de Ascenso" (now Primera C.
Only 3 years after promoting to the upper category, Español won another title promoting to the second division of Argentine football, Primera B Metropolitana. The squad went on a tour that same year, playing some matches in Spain against teams such as Real Madrid. In 1967, ten years after its foundation, Español promoted to the Argentine Primera División, the top category of Argentine football; the club not only developed a competitive football squad but became the most popular Spanish club in Argentina. During those years the Municipality of Buenos Aires gave the club 16 hectares located in the district known as "Bajo Flores", in the south of the city. In those lands Español began to build its sports installations with the help of the members themselves, who worked hard collaborating side-by-side with the club. During the following years, Español would be successively relegated until the Primera C in 1972, returning to the upper division when the team proclaimed champion in 1979. In 1984 Español promoted to the first division, where the team made its best performance at the top level of Argentine football in the 1985–86 season.
Español finished 2nd along with Newell's Old Boys, defeating Independiente, San Lorenzo de Almagro, former champion River Plate in the Estadio Monumental and remained unbeaten against Boca Juniors. In the next seasons, Español finished 3rd in 1988 -- 2nd in the 1992 Clausura. After 14 years in Primera División, Español was relegated to Primera B Nacional at the end of the 1997/98 season, to the lower categories; the team plays in the fourth division of Argentine football, the Primera C Metropolitana. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Primera B: 1984, 2001–02 Primera C: 1960, 1979 Primera D: 1958 Official website La 55
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
S.S. Monza 1912
Società Sportiva Monza 1912 referred to as Monza, is an Italian football club based in Monza, Lombardy. Founded in 2015 as Società Sportiva Dilettantistica Monza 1912, it is the successor to the club founded on 1 September 1912, Monza Foot Ball Club; the team went through various refoundations and mergers, the last of which being Football Association Monza Brianza 1912, declared bankrupt and expelled from professional football at the end of the 2014–15 season. The Monza is one of the Italian teams with the most appearances in Serie B, taking part in 38 editions, with the last time being during the 2000–01 season. In its history, the club has never reached the Serie A, making it the team that has participated in the most Italian second division tournaments without achieving promotion in the first division. Monza holds the record of victories in the Coppa Italia Serie C, winning it four times, they won four Serie C championships, an Anglo-Italian Cup and a Coppa delle Alpi. Known as i Bagaj, Monza's kit colours have traditionally been white.
They have played at the Stadio Brianteo since 1986. Football in Monza came in the early twentieth century when the first city companies were founded, including Pro Victoria, Pro Monza and Pro Italia; the latter two companies merged into the football section of Veloce Club Monzese. Monza was founded from Veloce Club Monzese on 1 September 1912 and the first home of the newborn club was located at the Caffè Pasticceria Roma; the club adopted the blue and white colours. The club's first win came on 20 September 1912 against Juventus Italia of Milan; the setting for the game was outside the town limits at Triante called "out doors", a pitch lent from the Township. There Monza F. C. played many friendly matches including the Colli's Cup. Monza won the Cup with a score of 3 to 2, defeating Saronno F. C. in the final. When at the end of 1912–13 season that football section abandoned the V. C. M. for unknown reasons, they changed name in Pro Monza and asked Monza F. C. for merging with them and another team called Juventus.
The merged club took the name of Associazione Calcio Monza, or known as A. C. Monza. A. C. Monza entered the Italian Football Federation and debuted in the league system in the Terza Categoria in the season 1913–14, where they won third place in their section. After changing pitch in 1914 they entered the upper level, the top Lombardy's league called Promozione, where they finished in 6th. Monza had been promoted top division in 1919–20 after ending second the Promozione finals, top level they played up to 1922. Relegated in Division 2 because of important changes in F. I. G. C. Championships, was promoted to Prima Divisione at the end of 1926/27. Challenged several times the top charts and failed promotion after entering Prima Divisione finals in 1934–35. In the 1932/33 season, Monza adopted its current colours and white and on September 18, the leading executives wanted to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the society and they organized the Coppa del Ventennio. Pavia will win the cup in a subsequent match.
In Coppa Italia Monza established the record for Serie C in Italian Cup reaching up to the quarter finals where he was eliminated at home from Genoa for 2–1. The record was only beaten in 1984 by Bari. In 1949, Monza's president Giuseppe Borghi goes on a spending spree, bringing in twelve players of value, he hired Annibale Frossi as manager, a member of the Italian squad during their victory at the 1936 Olympics. On 4 June 1951, a 1–0 victory allows their promotion to the Serie B and the supporters exploded with unrestrainable and passionate enthusiasm. During the difficult championship of the 1954–55 season bursts a managing crisis that puts Monza in the hands of Claudio Sada, owner of the A. C. Simmenthal. A. C. Monza merged with Simmenthal in 1956 becoming A. S. Simmenthal Monza. In 1962 Monza celebrates fifty years of its existence, while two years after, on 28 May, the president of Simmenthal Monza leaves an official notice in which it announces the abandonment of the group as sponsor. On 8 July the mayor, Giovanni Centemero, asks Sada to stay and the president remains the guide for another year.
The sad summer of 1966 coincides with necessary rebuilding. The team is demoted to the Serie C after 19 years in the Serie B; the new players are younger, with a fury of victories the team makes sure to regain promotion. In the final match against Como, the decisive game is played in Bergamo and Monza win on a goal by Maggioni. After one year they return to the Serie B. In the 1969–70 season, Monza approached promotion to the Serie A under coach Gigi Radice. With two matches left, the biancorossi were within two points of promotion, behind Foggia and Varese. At the last game it was down to Varese and the "brianzoli". A loss to Taranto sealed Monza's fate. Monza is consoled only with the numbers: 11 wins at home, 15 total, with only one defeat standing between them and promotion. Goalkeeper Luciano Castellini was scored on only 7 times at home, with 19 goals against in the entire season. In the 1972–73 season, a man who will become one of the more loved presidents of Monza, Giovanni Cappelletti, was hired.
Cappelletti was a well-known industrial soccer player. A new era is born, led by Cappelletti and Italo Allodi, considered the prot
Javier Adelmar Zanetti is an Argentine former professional footballer who played as a defender or midfielder. He started his career in Argentina, first with Talleres, Banfield. From 1995 to 2014 he played for Italian club Inter Milan, served as captain from 2001. With 1,114 official games played, he is seventh on the list of players in history with the most career appearances, he is the foreign player with the most appearances in Serie A, holds the fourth-most appearances in the league, behind only Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon and Francesco Totti. He is the most capped player in the history of Inter, 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 is the most capped player as captain in the Champions League. With the Argentina national team he played in 143 games, a figure that makes him the second 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, the Confederations Cup in 1995 and 2005. Known for his versatility, he was adept on both the left and right wing, having played on both flanks as a full back, as well as a winger, he could play as a defensive midfielder. On retiring, the club named him as its vice president, he has been named an ambassador for the SOS Children's Villages project in Argentina by FIFA, in 2005 he received the Ambrogino d'Oro award from the city of Milan for his social initiatives. Zanetti is a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics. Javier Adelmar Zanetti was born in Buenos Aires with Italian origins to working-class parents and grew up in the harbour area in the Dock Sud district, one of the city's most notorious areas, his father Rodolfo was a bricklayer and his mother Violeta Bonnazola was a cleaner. He began playing football on a field in the city suburbs; when he was a teenager, he tried out for local club Independiente's youth academy but was rejected and told that he lacked the physique to succeed in the game.
Instead, he concentrated on school and worked as an assistant to his father with masonry as well as odd jobs such as delivering milk and helping out at a relative's grocery store. After his rejection from Independiente, Zanetti signed for Talleres de Remedios de Escalada a second division team. With them, he played 33 matches and scored one goal in his only season, before moving in 1993 to the First Division club Banfield. A 20-year-old Zanetti debuted for Banfield on 12 September 1993 in a home match against River Plate, he scored his first goal 17 days against Newell's Old Boys in a match that ended 1–1. His outstanding performances for Banfield gained popularity from El Taladro fans and earned him a call-up from the national team. First division giants River Plate and Boca Juniors displayed interest but Zanetti decided to stay on for another year at the club. In 1995, along with fellow Argentine Sebastián Rambert, he transferred to Italy's Inter Milan, becoming team owner Massimo Moratti's first-ever purchase.
As a part of the squad for 19 seasons and with 858 appearances across all competitions, he is the team's longest-tenured player, the first overall – surpassing Giuseppe Bergomi – in the all-time list of Inter players by most games played. Throughout his stay with the club, he won 16 trophies, 15 of which came under his captaincy: the UEFA Cup in 1998, the 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011 Coppa Italia, the 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010 Supercoppa Italiana, the 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09 and 2009–10 Scudetti and the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. Zanetti went 12 years without being sent off in a match; the first time he was sent off in his career was on 17 February 1999 in a Coppa Italia match against Parma, but he broke his streak when he was sent off in a Serie A match against Udinese on 3 December 2011. These were the only two times. At Inter, Zanetti played under 19 different coaches, making him the only player to have played under this many coaches, he has pledged his future to the Nerazzurri, hoping to have a future behind the desk at the club in his retirement from playing.
"Inter means a lot to me", Zanetti said. It was the first team to open the doors of European football. I was young when I came here and I think not many teams could have had so much faith and patience with a boy in his early 20s from the first day like Inter did with me. I will always be grateful for that. For some reason I have always felt at home here at Inter and this is why I have never thought of leaving. Zanetti made his debut for Inter on 27 August 1995 against Vicenza in Milan, he scored Inter's second goal in their 3–0 win over compatriots Lazio in the 1998 UEFA Cup Final at the Parc des Princes in Paris, his first silverware at the club, after losing in the final in the previous season. After two years in which he wore the captain band in place of the injured Ronaldo, he was rewarded with the club captaincy in late 2001. In August 2003, Zanetti signed a new contract with the club until June 2007. After the arrival of Maicon at the beginning of the 2006–07 season, Zanetti was moved from the right-back position into midfield.
He ended a four-year goal drought when he scored on 5 November 2006 at a home match against Ascoli, having scored on 6 November 2002 at an away match against Empoli. On 27 September 2006, against Bayern Munich, Zanetti played his 500th professional match for Inter and on 22 November 2006, he appeared in his 100th UEFA match, against Sporting Club