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It is a shame that most English-speaking writers focus on Giggs and not Zanetti. Both are extraordinary in their own right, but Zanetti's 945 career club appearances and 145 caps for Argentina deserve a bit more mention.
"Pupi," as he is affectionately known by Inter Milan supporters, has been the beating heart of the club for 18 years. Yet he was not expected to return for this, his 14th season as captain.
As James Horncastle wrote for ESPN FC, the Achilles tendon rupture Zanetti suffered has ended the careers of significantly younger players. What was the chance of a 40-year-old making a full recovery and returning to his previous level?
Due to his indomitable spirit and boundless work ethic, Il Capitano has returned. But even this seemingly ageless marvel must succumb to age at some point.
Zanetti might as well retire at the level he has maintained for two decades, while proving that he is strong enough to return from a career-threatening injury.