Another season, another contract saga with the ‘Captain’, Mauro Icardi. We’ve heard the story before; the demands for a higher salary, his agent/wife Wanda Naera openness to reveal sensitive information to the media.
As normal as that seems in the modern era of football with agents communicating on behalf of their clients, the variable that separates Icardi from the rest of the squad is that he wears the Captains armband.
Javier Zanetti, Sandro Mazzola, Giuseppe Meazza, Giuseppe Bergomi. One thing these players all have in common is that they wore the armband. Legends in their own caliber, cherished and loved by Inter and football fans in general. Leaders, generals, So where does that leave Icardi ?
Debates on social media platforms have been stirring up again on the legitimacy of the armband worn by the Inter striker since it was infamously stripped from Andrea Rannochia and given to the Argentine.
Eyebrows have been raised on multiple occasions on the strikers ability to lead the team, from when he first acquired the armband. To the infamous verbal tirade against Inter ultras following a 3-1 loss against Sassuolo in the 2014-15 season.
Icardi approached the ultras with former Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin. During a heated exchange with the fans, he handed his jersey over only to have it thrown back at him.
The incident had been forgotten but Icardi addressed it in his autobiography, leading tensions to stir up between supporters and the Inter striker.
“I took off my shirt and shorts and gave them to a kid” writes Icardi. “It’s a shame that a head Ultra flew over to him, took the shirt from his hands and threw it after me with disgust.
In that instant I was beside myself, I would have punched him for that bastard’s gesture he’d just pulled.” “So I started to insult him harshly. ‘Piece of shit, you act the big man and all powerful with a little kid to show off in front of the Curva. You should only be ashamed. You should all be ashamed.’ After saying that, I threw the shirt in his face. In that moment, everything kicked off like the world was ending.”
But the biggest controversy of this incident was when Icardi claimed he could have criminals flown in from Argentina to kill the supporters. “How many of them are there? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred? OK, record my message and let them hear it. I will bring 100 criminals from Argentina who will kill them on the spot.”
The armband should have been stripped from the Argentine ace following those statements but against all odds, he retained the armband and the incident was swiftly forgotten but left a bitter taste in all those involved. The contract saga occurring currently was seen again in 2016 and Icardi eventually signed a new deal tying him to the club till 2021 with a release clause of 110mill.
However with the club finally acquiring some form of stability for the first time since Mourinho leaving the club post treble season 2009-10, the antics held publicly by Icardi and Wanda question the players loyalty to the club and his intentions.
With transfer rumours coming in and multiple European giants interested in the Argentine’s signature, this public tirade has done nothing to ease the minds of supporters and further conveying just how unfit of a captain Mauro Icardi is to the general public.
The armband is a privilege, not a right and with the way the saga is unfolding, how many more incidents can the club captain apologise and try to make amends for before the management get fed up and strip him of the Captains armband or cash in on the striker?