Inter captain Javier Zanetti has acknowledged that he hopes to make his long-awaited return to action in Saturday's Serie A clash with Livorno.
The Argentine legend has been out of action since suffering an Achilles injury in April that sparked fears he might never play again. However, after making the bench for last weekend's 3-0 win over Udinese, the 40-year-old is now itching to make his comeback at San Siro this weekend.
"I am close to my return to the field," the versatile defender told Radio RTL. "In Udine, my teammates gave us a wonderful victory, even if I remained on the bench. But I hope there will be a way for me to play some minutes on Saturday against Livorno."
Meanwhile, Zanetti said he will be sorry to see Massimo Moratti step down as Inter president, as he remains eternally grateful to the oil tycoon for plucking him from obscurity at Banfield 18 years ago. However, the former Argentina international has no doubt that the Nerazzurri will benefit from Erick Thohir's soon-to-be-completed takeover.
"My relationship with Moratti goes beyond the normal ties between a president and a captain," Zanetti said. "I was an unknown and he believed in me. It's something that I will never forget. Indeed, I will always thank him for that. He has seen some qualities in the new owners that will help grow this club, so I think it will be an even greater Inter."