“I don’t care about how much I am worth, all I want is to become a symbol of this club.”
It is incredible to think that little more than 12 months have passed since Mauro Icardi was at loggerheads with Inter’s Curva Nord ultras, when it seemed to be a matter of when and not if he would seek pastures new away from Milan.
It is sufficed to say that unfortunate saga is now very much water under the bridge and that all parties have moved on. In fact, the Argentine centre-forward is now an idol among those same fans he had appeared to insult in an untimely autobiography.
With 13 goals in 13 matches thus far in 2017/18, the club captain has been instrumental in guiding I Nerazzurri to an unbeaten start, leaving them a mere two points behind league leaders Napoli.
Unlike so many in form players plying their trade in teams which are not currently in the Champions League, the former Sampdoria man seems to be genuinely happy to bide his time and strive for success with Inter, who he insists are the club of his heart.
Much to BT Sport co-commentator Nigel Spackman’s apparent dismay, the Rosario native intends to stay and be revered as a legend in Italy, rather than join a so-called “big club” such as Chelsea or Manchester City.
They may well be considerably wealthier nowadays, but they will never be able to boast the same history and prestige as La Beneamata. Not only is this typical of the arrogance we have come to expect from people who think the be all and end all for every player in the modern era is to play in England, it is indeed also a blatant lack of knowledge and respect for the fact Serie A has been every bit as entertaining as the Premier League for the last two or three years.
With Javier Zanetti pulling strings in his role as vice-president, Icardi is very happy with life in Milan. He is living a very settled life with his wife Wanda Nara and their young children, so it is conceivable that he could happily remain an Inter player for the rest of his career.
That said, he is already on record as saying there is absolutely no chance that he’ll play for as long as the aforementioned Pupi, with whom he has become very close friends.
Icardi is well aware of the fact he is the centrepiece of Suning’s project, around whom the team is built. Make no mistake, he is relishing the responsibility that comes with being captain and is now proving to be a fantastic leader within the dressing room.
With the club set to be freed from the shackles of Financial Fair Play restrictions shortly, the team will become more and more competitive over the next couple of years as he enters his prime.
If MI9 can continue in this current vein of form, he will surely reach his hundredth goal for the club in no time and will be well on his way to becoming a club legend.
However, to become a true great in the eyes of the fans, he must lead this group of players to tangible success – trophies. No one is under any illusion of how tough a job that will be, but it seems to be exactly what his heart is set on achieving.
Written by Jordan Russell
Follow Jordan on Twitter @JordRuss96
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