In our countdown of the Top 20 Inter players in the last 20 years, we recognise the striker Mauro Icardi who ranks in at the number 20 spot.
Icardi would’ve been ranked better in this list had he not disrespected Inter in certain situations during his time with the club. We appreciate all the goals Icardi provided, but his childish attitude and lack of professionalism really let him down.
Did you know that Icardi is actually ranked 8th in Inter’s all time leading goal scorers? Incredible statistic for a player who joined through one of Inter’s darkest periods in history.
Let’s go a bit further into Icardi’s career with Inter.
The beginning –
After a falling out with childhood hero and fellow team mate Maxi Lopez at Sampdoria, Mauro signed with Inter at the beginning of the 2013/14 season.
In Icardi’s first season, he managed to score 9 goals from 22 appearances which was decent for the 20 year old. One of his more memorable goals came on the last matchday against Lazio, where he scored and celebrated with the retiring Zanetti.
For a majority of Argentine’s who grew up idolising Zanetti, this would’ve been a special moment to share with him.
We all knew Icardi as Juventus’ kryptonite in the beginning as he was able to score 3 goals in his first 3 games against Juventus for Inter. Especially since Icardi had also scored multiple goals against Juventus when playing for Sampdoria. Something which all Inter fans loved seeing as Juventus were the team to beat.
On his second season, we really saw the best of Icardi as he notched up 22 league goals. With this figure he drew level with Luca Toni for most goals in the Serie A season and was then crowned Capocannoniere.
We all thought that if Inter can build the club around this guy, we will see success.
Where it went wrong –
As mentioned earlier, if Icardi didn’t disrespect both the club and the jersey then Inter supporters wouldn’t hate him as much as we do.
For all the great stuff he did on the field, then were always issues off it.
Over the years we heard about issues in the dressing room regarding Icardi. The most reported by the media was the fight with Osvaldo which overflowed onto the pitch. At the time, Inter were sitting in a mid-table position in the 2014/15 season and we didn’t know the reason for the inconsistency.
After this match to Juventus, we all knew why the performances on the field were so poor. There were problems between our strikers – Osvaldo and Icardi. Not long after, Osvaldo came out and said in an interview if Guarin wasn’t in the way to break things up then he would’ve punched Icardi.
From the outside looking in, it always looked like Osvaldo was the problem. Looking back I really don’t know who was at fault here.
Disrespect of fans –
Only a month later in February 2015, Icardi and Guarin would have a run in with travelling Inter fans against Sassuolo.
Icardi attempted to give his jersey to a fan after the 3-1 loss. The fan threw it back at him and Icardi decided to call these fans “pieces of s***”. It took months to rebuild any trust as Icardi apologised but fans weren’t sure to trust Icardi after this.
For the following season (2015/16), Icardi was given the Captain’s armband. This was to much disgust of Inter fans and the Curva Nord especially. With no real leaders in the team since Ranocchia had really failed as a captain, Mazzari gave the captaincy to Inter’s leading goal scorer.
We would find years later that this was not the correct decision. Mauro was just a boy, and not the man we needed to lead this Inter side.
It took just over a year for the next controversy to occur. A couple of months into the 2016/17 season, Icardi released an autobiography.
In the book, Icardi wrote something along the lines saying “I will bring 100 criminals from Argentina who will kill them on the spot” when referring to the incident at the Sassuolo game mentioned earlier.
The Curva Nord came out in response after the book was released. In the next game against Cagliari the Ultras were seen holding a banner saying “You are not a man…You are not a captain…You are just a piece of s***”.
On this occasion it was because Wanda Nara (Icardi’s agent and wife) requested more money and Inter would not agree to a raise in salary. Months prior, Icardi had already had a contract upgrade so the club was not being held at gunpoint.
Especially since Mauro was not performing at the levels he had reached in the season prior. Only able to score 9 from 20 appearances in the league at that point.
Apparently Icardi was then “injured” and not willing to take the field for Inter. Even though knee scans comparing to prior to the season saw no difference or physical issues. Icardi decided to sit in the stands until the contract issue was resolved.
During this injury, Icardi was stripped off the captaincy and that’s where the downfall began.
This was the final nail in the coffin as the captaincy was deservedly handed to Handanovic. A transfer away from Inter was the only option left for Icardi. Luckily for Inter, PSG paid top dollar to take him off our hands.
Goal scoring record –
We have to respect the numbers, but we cannot respect the player who produced these.
The ability to score 111 goals in 188 appearances in Serie A is an incredible record. As mentioned earlier, Icardi is ranked number 8 on Inter’s all time leading goal scorers record. His total in all competitions is 124 goals for Inter.
Some crucial goals from Icardi in his second last season at the club helped Inter quality for the Champions League. In this season (2017/18), Icardi went on to score 29 goals from 34 matches which lead him to his second Capocannoniere.
The money gained from Champions League qualification and Icardi’s transfer helped Inter build a fantastic squad. We thank Icardi for everything he contributed to the club.
We will be visiting number 19 next on our countdown. Who would you like to see in that number 19 spot for the Top 20 Inter players in the past 20 years?
As always Forza Inter!