Javier Zanetti: 'I almost joined Real Madrid'

Javier Zanetti says that he came close to leaving Inter Milan for Real Madrid in 1999.

Javier Zanetti has revealed that he came close to leaving Inter Milan for Real Madrid before taking the captain's armband at the San Siro.

The 40-year-old has skippered Inter since 1999, but has claimed that he "was about" to join Los Blancos before taking on the responsibility.

"I was about to leave, for a very important team in Spain, such as Real Madrid," Zanetti told Videonews.

"But if I had to leave, I wanted to leave a mark for Inter. Then I was given the captain's armband and it was a beautiful responsibility. Everything that came after that was something extraordinary."

Zanetti returned from a long-term Achilles injury against Livorno at the weekend.

Jonathan of FC Inter Milan celebrates scoring the first goal during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and AS Livorno on November 9, 2013
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