Inter striker Mauro Icardi has rejected comparisons with AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli, insisting people have a misguided view of him.
The 22-year-old, who was made Inter captain by Roberto Mancini this season, has courted controversy with his off-the-field behaviour before. His relationship with Wanda Nara – the ex-wife of former Sampdoria team-mate Maxi Lopez – caused a storm in Italy.
has been dogged by criticism for his behaviour throughout his career so far, with Milan CEO Adriano Galliani stating the player was on his “last chance” upon his return to San Siro this season.
Icardi, however, has insisted he is nothing like the Italy international, telling GQ magazine: “In this talk about ‘Icardi the bad boy’, which people turn into Icardi and Balotelli, I simply don’t recognise myself.
“I never hung out with him, I don’t know him at all. Zero. And I don’t think there are any similarities.
“The fact is that I live in a very normal way, in spite of what people think.
“I know I’m a public figure and I behave accordingly, but I’m not interested in gossip. That’s part of other people’s lives, not mine.
“I have few friends, because in football everybody goes their own way. You never have the time to create a bond, you always move on too quickly.”
Icardi has scored twice so far this season for Inter in Serie A, while Balotelli has yet to net following his season-long switch from Liverpool.
Milan are at home to Napoli in the league on Sunday, while Inter travel to face Sampdoria earlier in the day.