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 By Ben Gladwell

Inter to retire Javier Zanetti's shirt

Javier Zanetti joined Inter Milan in 1995 and spent 19 seasons at the club.

Inter Milan have decided to withdraw the No. 4 jersey in recognition of the career of Javier Zanetti, who becomes the club's new vice president from Tuesday.

- Hesse: Zanetti - a giant of the game
- Wilson: Retirement finally comes for ageless Messi

Zanetti's 18-year playing career with the Nerazzurri officially ends on Monday, when his final playing contract expires. With him, the No. 4 shirt he had worn over those years will also go into retirement with no Inter play set to inherit his number in future.

"The advisory board have decided to withdraw the No. 4 shirt," Inter president Erick Thohir confirmed to reporters in Milan. "Zanetti is now going to be our vice president for the next two years."

Those two years should be spent working together with coach Walter Mazzarri, who is set to be given a new contract imminently, while the former Napoli coach will have forward Mauro Icardi at his disposal with Thohir insisting the 21-year-old is not available for transfer.

"We have received an offer for him, but we have no intention of selling," Thohir said. "It's important we have a strong team, also for Europe."

Inter finished fifth in Serie A last season, qualifying for the playoff round of the Europa League at the end of August.

The Nerazzurri will be the third side to commence preseason training after Torino and Sampdoria when they report for duty on Friday with Nemanja Vidic the only new face currently expected to be present.

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