Mauro Icardi confessed to being surprised at reportedly being named in Gerardo Martino’s provisional Argentina squad for the Olympic Games.
Icardi was the joint-highest scoring player in Serie A last season with 22 goals for Inter, notching a further 15 this season this term.
However, the 23-year-old has never been called up to the Argentina squad under current coach Gerardo Martino, with suggestions his off-field antics may be a contributing factor.
It appears that could be set to change now, though, with Icardi allegedly included in Martino’s provisional squad for the Games, something he was not expecting.
“I was a little surprised to be on the Rio list because after everything that’s been said, in Twitter and social media everything comes out, some people believed I was never going to get called,” Icardi admitted to Fox Sports.
“It is great to be on the list for the Olympics because it is a reward for my performances at Inter.
“I can tell Martino that here in Italy I am on the front pages every Monday, but of the sports newspapers.
“In Argentina I am always linked to showbusiness. If you are a national team coach, you can only judge on what happens on the pitch.”
Icardi drew criticism for dating the ex-wife of former Sampdoria team-mate Maxi Lopez, Wanda Nara, but he denied betraying his compatriot.
“I was a friend of the couple, an acquaintance, and it was all very normal. After that, he and Wanda split up and we kept in touch, and it just happened,” he added.
“I fell in love, that’s something you should judge solely on its own merits. But he was not my best friend or anything like that. We were team-mates at Sampdoria and nothing else.”
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