Inter president Massimo Moratti says that Javier Zanetti can continue playing for at least another four years, joking that the club captain hails from the same planet as Superman, Krypton.
The 40-year-old defender was the first player that the oil tycoon signed when he took charge of the Nerazzurri in 1995 and is set to make his eagerly awaited return from an Achilles injury in December.
Moratti, whose sale of Inter to Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir is set to be completed on November 15, remarked that he would be astounded by the fact that Zanetti will outlast him at San Siro, had he not discovered the secret of the Argentine's remarkable longevity.
"He was the first player I saw and the first I selected," the outgoing Nerazzurri supremo told Sette. "We took him from Banfield and he's still with us.
"But I discovered that he comes from the planet Krypton and that he will still play for another four or five years!"
Moratti admitted that he would have dearly loved to have signed Zanetti's compatriot Lionel Messi but explained that "he was too bound to Barcelona".
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the Inter old-timer could yet continue in his role as president but the 68-year-old accepts that he is ready to step down.
"I knew I was never going to be president for life," he explained. "In 2011, after the Coppa Italia win, I thought it was time to take a step back and let the club find a new solution.
"Selling the club to Erick Thohir should benefit the club, which is what I want to see. It should open up new markets for the club."