Sports Nicknames - El Tractor

When you come from the country of Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, earning a name, status, and a special place in Argentinian football history is that much more of a challenge. But, if there is one player who has taken on this challenge and defied all odds to carve himself a special place, it is Javier Zanetti.

Javier Zanetti profile illustration.  Drawing.  Art.  The legendary Argentina and Inter Milan player, nicknamed El Tractor.

Playing Style and Roles

Born in Buenos Aires, Zanetti was a specialist mid-fielder who could handle both wings, while additionally playing as a Full-back. He was a real workhorse, who effectiveness at both the wings made him a real weapon on defence duty. In addition to protecting both the wings, he could be seen pushing the ball forward and covering entire length of the pitch while pursuing attacks to offer additional advantage as an attacker. This ability to perform different roles to add to his team's options was what made him a real team man. After starting his career with the Tallers in Argentina in 1992, Zanetti got a major breakthrough as Inter-Milan signed him in 1995 and a historic marriage with the Italian Club started - An association that exists even today - years after his retirement!

Nicknamed, The Tractor

While playing at Milan, he proved his worth as a strong, supremely fit, and energetic player who continued to push his limits and inspire his team throughout his career. For his uncanny ability to run up and down the wings without showing any signs of exhaustion, he was nicknamed El Tractor, The Tractor. His outstanding physical build, good ball control, dominant tackles, and precise passing made him a real tractor who could power his way through the mid-field while bossing the pace of the game.

The Captain

In 2001, Inter Milan handed over the Captaincy Reigns to Zanetti, a role he performed with dignity and honor as all respected him for his commitment, work ethic, and dignity. Another testament to his excellent conduct is the fact that he received only two red cards in his 22 years long career. Under his leadership, Inter-Milan won 15 trophies as he became the most capped player for Inter Milan with 858 appearances. He also holds the record for winning the most trophies 16, with a Club. These included five consecutive Serie A championships between 2005 and 2010, 4 Coppa Italiana Trophies, 4 Super Coppa Italiana titles, UEFA Cup, FIFA World Cup, and the Prestigious UEFA Champions League in 2009-10.

In addition to that, he holds the record for having the most matches as the Captain in the UEFA Champions League. His leadership abilities and such a long and successful stint as the Captain earned him the nickname of 'The Captain.' On his retirement in 2014, the Club retired the glorious number 4 Jersey in his honor.

His international career lasted between 1995 and 2011, during which he appeared for Argentina in 145 games, which made him the player with the most appearances for Argentina at one time.

Post Retirement Roles

After his retirement, he was made the vice-president of Inter-Milan. In 2018, he was included in the Inter Milan Hall of Fame and the Italian Football Hall of Fame. He also serves as the SOS Children's Villages and Special Olympics ambassador.


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