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Aug 23, 2012

Stramaccioni hails 'bionic' Zanetti

Inter Milan head coach Andrea Stramaccioni has described captain Javier Zanetti as "bionic" as the skipper prepares to make his 800th appearance for the club on Thursday evening.

Stramaccioni said Zanetti, 39, "is not human" as he spoke to reporters prior to the club's Europa League qualifying round game against Romanian side Vaslui.

The Argentina midfielder joined Inter in 1995, and played his 700th game in the 2010 Champions League final as Inter beat Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Bernabeu.

Stramaccioni - who is three years younger than his skipper - said: "It's remarkable. I don't even think I've seen 800 games in my whole life. The captain ought to be cloned, because in my view he is not human - he's bionic."

Zanetti also holds the record for international appearances for Argentina having earned 145 caps, and has played more than 1,000 games in his professional career.

Stramaccioni warned his side against complacency in Romania, saying he believed Vaslui "represent perhaps the toughest of the teams who weren't seeded in the draw". He added: "They were built to play in the Champions League preliminary round."

Inter begin their Serie A season at Pescara on Sunday, and the coach said: "This play-off is difficult, as we will return home at 4am on Friday and on Saturday travel to Pescara for Sunday's game."

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