EXCLUSIVERoberto Ayala has assured fans Javier Zanetti will be back playing again after suffering a rupture of his Achilles tendon in Sunday’s loss to Palermo.
For any other 39-year-old, an injury of this magnitude would be likely to bring their career to an end, but Zanetti is unlike any ordinary player, according to Ayala.
“We were texting. He told me not to worry,” he told Goal.com.
“I wished him a speedy recovery and he literally told me what he told the media. The injury will not affect anything.
"The text message read: 'My career is not over. I’m going to be back at 40 with a full tank.'"
Zanetti had successful surgery on the injury, but the recovery time is between six and seven months. Despite the setback, Ayala backed his friend’s desire to return to the pitch.
“No doubt he will come back and will continue his career normally," Ayala continued. "This injury is not going to affect anything. The retirement of Javier still has no date. [His career] will continue until he wants it to end.”
He added: “I never met a guy like 'Pupi'. You’ll never see him concerned about matters that are not of the most significance. He has a great heart. That is precisely what makes him great.”
The most capped Argentina player was supported after his surgery by several of his former and present colleagues, including, Roberto Baggio, Paolo Maldini and Giuseppe Bergomi.