Inter captain Mauro Icardi’s relationship with the club’s ultras has deteriorated massively.
The 23-year-old has been in good form for the Nerazzurri this season, scoring six goals in nine games in all competitions, but the more militant fans have taken exception to passages from Icardi’s new autobiography in which he recounts an earlier altercation with them.
The altercation in question took place in February 2015 after a defeat at Sassuolo. Icardi and teammate Fredy Guarin went to remonstrate with the ultras having seen their shirts being tossed back at them, at which point an argument broke out as Icardi tried to give his shirt to a child.
Icardi saw himself as the right party in this instance, and claimed that he was proclaimed a hero when he got back into the Inter dressing room.
Evidently, the ultras saw it rather differently, and unfurled a banner at Sunday’s match against Cagliari at the San Siro voicing their displeasure at the forwards words:
They also released this somewhat furious statement demanding that he be stripped of the captaincy:
“Icardi, as far as we are concerned, you’re finished. Why such squalid fiction? We are horrified, that book is ridiculous and with regards to that incident there are only lies.
“We merely ask for effort and honesty, while he depicts us as threatening figures who gravitate around the club asking for who knows what, so evidently something is wired wrong in his head.
“An individual like this does not deserve the captain’s armband.”
“We don’t want to go back over that day when his own teammates hauled him back by the neck to demand a less arrogant attitude towards the Inter population.
“It is pathetic to read such things talking about us. In his book he writes: ‘I am ready to face them one by one. How many are there? 50, 100, 200? OK, record my message and let him listen: I’ll bring 100 criminals from Argentina who’ll kill them where they stand, then we’ll see.’
“He talks about helping little kids, then invents an incident that never happened to make himself seem superior to us, as if it weren’t obvious to all that we are the only Curva that helps kids design the choreography in the stands.
“There are no more excuses. We considered him young, a bit of an idiot (like many), but deep down a good lad. Instead this is an individual who cannot be allowed to wear the Inter armband. It’s not for us, but Inter simply don’t deserve this.
“You are finished with us. You’re done. TAKE THE ARMBAND OFF, YOU CLOWN. Yes, that is what we demand.”
As if to make matters worse, Inter lost 2-1 at home to Cagliari in Sunday’s game, with Icardi missing a penalty.
The Argentine international has since responded to the ultra demands on Instagram with a (lengthy) statement of his own, expressing his shock and disappointment that the band of supporters had chosen to lash out like that:
Cara Curva Nord, sono sorpreso e dispiaciuto. Sorpreso perché relativamente all’episodio di Reggio Emilia ho semplicemente riferito di come, complice l’adrenalina post-partita ed il cattivo momento che stava attraversando la squadra, “a caldo” ho perso la testa. Volevo semplicemente rendere l’atmosfera di quell’episodio. Tanto è vero che nel libro ho aggiunto che avevo sputato fuori frasi esagerate (ed il verbo sputare già rende l’idea di quanto inopportuna fosse stata la mia reazione). Riguardo al discorso degli assassini dall’Argentina, siccome da più parti mi continuavano a ripetere che mi sarei ritrovato degli esagitati sotto casa (nota bene: non la Curva Nord, degli esagitati) ho pronunciato quella frase: ma nella biografia ho anche detto “avevo usato parole minacciose contro la tifoseria e non avrei dovuto farlo”. Sono dispiaciuto. Dispiaciuto per questo polverone che si è creato, Ho semplicemente raccontato un episodio seguendo i miei ricordi. Oltretutto se uno avesse un minimo di sale in zucca non rischierebbe di offendere la propria curva, strategicamente se fossi stato in mala fede avrei usato parole accattivanti nei vostri confronti. Non l’ho fatto perché nessuno voleva offendere o mancare di rispetto a nessuno. La fascia da capitano rappresenta la realizzazione dei miei sogni di bambino, la gioia che ho donato prima di tutto alla mia famiglia e poi a me stesso. Siete Voi che io cerco ogni domenica appena faccio gol, è il Vostro abbraccio che io cerco per primo. perché io amo l’Inter. Fra pochissimo scendero’ in campo quindi non posso più dilungarmi. Spero che avrete compreso quanto importanti siete per me e quanta stima e quanto Amore nutra per Voi anche se deciderete di fischiarmi. Vi chiedo solo una cosa da Capitano: state vicini all’Inter come avete sempre fatto, io e i miei compagni abbiamo bisogno di Voi. Con affetto Mauro ?⚫️?⚫️
Translated extracts (via Football Italia):
“I am surprised because I simply referred to the fact I lost my temper in the heat of the moment, combined with the adrenaline of the match and the bad moment the team was going through.
“I simply wanted to sum up the atmosphere of that incident. It’s true that in the book I spat out some exaggerated phrases (and the verb spat gives a good idea of how inopportune my reaction was).
“I am disappointed. Disappointed with the chaos that has been brought up. I simply gave my recollection of an incident. If I had the slightest brain in my skull, I certainly wouldn’t have risked offending the curva. I didn’t want to offend or disrespect anyone.
“The captain’s armband represents the realisation of my childhood dreams, the joy that I gave first of all to my family and then to myself.
I ask you just one thing as captain: stay close to Inter, as you always have done, because my teammates and I need you. With affection, Mauro.”