Zanetti aims to come back stronger

Rome, April 30 (IANS) Inter captain Javier Zanetti has dismissed retirement fears and said he will return from Achilles injury “stronger than before”.

The Argentine, 39, ruptured the Achilles tendon in his left foot with only 17 minutes into Inter’s 0-1 defeat to Palermo Sunday.

“My goal is to come back stronger than before, and I believe it,” he said on the club’s official website.

“I had to change tyres after so many miles. Injuries can happen and they’re part of this profession. The most important thing is the team. We’ll decide when surgery will take place.”

“They still haven’t given me the timescale involved, but my career certainly isn’t over. What matters is healing well. What I want most is to be back with my team-mates. I’m sorry I can’t give (my team-mates) a hand in the final part of the season, but I’m confident they’ll be able to qualify for the Europa League.”

“I appreciate the messages from the fans, as well as those from president (Massimo) Moratti, my team-mates and the many others who have shown their support,” he said.

AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli, a former team-mate of Zanetti’s between 2006 and 2010, wished the veteran defender well in his rehabilitation.

“I want to wish Javier Zanetti a speedy recovery, because he’s a great champion but first and foremost a great man,” said Balotelli.

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