Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Mauro Icardi: Poaching Goals (and Hearts) for Kicks and Giggles

Milos Markovic in Editorial, Serie A 5 Dec 2018

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There is a certain stigma around Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi.

The 25-year-old Argentine superstar does indeed give you that feeling that’s hard to wrap one’s head around. You simply hate that you love him so much. Does it make any sense?

Prototype Poacher

It’s with an infectious smile that Mauro Icardi fights off controversy that’s been following him since the very beginning of his professional football career. It’s that same smile that helps him discard opinions of others and do things his own way and on his own terms. Even if it means destroying peoples’ lives. Or his own.

It is a lesser known fact that Inter Milan captain started his career at Barcelona. The Argentine walked away from an opportunity to work his way through to the shiny lights of Camp Nou at the age of 17. For a boy in his tender teen age, a clash of style was perceived as a highly unorthodox explanation behind a decision to leave Spain and move to Sampdoria instead.

“The Italian football is the one that suits me the most”, Icardi claimed.

The forward who grew to become a world-class poacher will notoriously remain remembered for poaching his Sampdoria teammate’s wife. It was in 2013 that Icardi hit headlines with reports of his relationship with Wanda Nara, then a Maxi Lopez spouse.

Icardi’s reputation took a dive in wide football circles and especially in Argentina where his human qualities have been questioned. But he couldn’t have cared less. Such was his spite and refusal to be fitted into the norms of socially accepted behavior that he even went as far as to dress Lopez and Nara’s kids into Newell’s Old Boys shirts knowing their father was associated with bitter rivals River Plate.

Having poached his current wife and agent, Icardi continued to play his own game and poach one heart after another – in Italy and across the globe. Having matured as a football player – and having put his off-field antics seemingly to rest – Mauro Icardi is the best Italy has. And he’s got ways to prove it.

Best of Serie A

The heavily tattooed forward has been given an important recognition by his Serie A peers this week.

The Inter Milan striker won the Serie A Footballer of the Year 2018 after finishing joint top-scorer in italy’s top flight last season alongside Lazio frontman Ciro Immobile on 29 goals. With eight goals in nine Serie A games thus far, Icardi is given a fair shot of 9/1 to finish the season as the Serie A top goalscorer.

Having helped Inter Milan back into the Champions League with his goals, Mauro Icardi was also given Best Goal of the Season award for his backheel kick against Sampdoria.  Needless to say, Icardi was included in Serie A Team of the year to further establish his reputation as one of Italy (and Europe)’s most distinguished attackers.

A unique personality both off and on pitch, never disturbed by other people’s opinion, the Argentine forward plays has poerfected his game. Mauro Icardi is the type of a player who sits dominant in his area of confidence, never thinking about touching the ball more than it’s needed.

He speicalises in goals and that’s what he does best. You won’t see him running around the field but you will be confident he will put the ball in the back of the net as soon as he gets on to it. It’s that trait of a world-class footballer that separates him from the rest. Seemingly invisible in a game, he will score two against you without you even knowing it.

“People talk too much about my involvement in the game, which many say is poor, not enough, but I don’t give a damn about what the journalists and critics say. I know only one way to help my team-mates and the coach, and that’s to put it in the net”, he says.

As a poacher by nature, Icardi knows goals are still football’s most valuable currency and will stack them in piles to confront anyone who claims his work rate is not up to the standards of modern day game.

More to Come

Inter Milan captain since 2015 is building his reputation on his own standards. Not easily compared with anyone else, he already has 117 goals to his name in all competitions for Nerazzurri.

Argentina is also spreading wings for its prodigal son. A 2-0 win over Mexico earlier in November saw Icardi score his first goal for his country in his eight cap overall and – despite all the underlying hatred towards the man he is (or once was in his younger days) – proved that Argentina need him going forward.

But what does Icardi need?

Having pierced nets and poached goals in the Serie A for years on end, could Mauro Icardi be on the move any time soon? He’s never been shy to profess his love to Inter. Having emerged as the face of Inter, an idol to young ones and a devoted husband and father, should Icardi think of going elsewhere?

Real Madrid would – it appears – love it. Los Blancos representatives were seen in Italy last week where they scouted the Inter Milan captain against AS Roma.

With Karim Benzema seemingly dropping out of favour at Santiago Bernabeu, it is Mauro Icardi who’s being identified as the ideal poaching replacement for the Frenchman. Icardi’s ability to control the rival’s box with his positional instincts and an eye for goal are being admired by Real Madrid, and for a good reason.

The reigning champions of Europe would have to dig deep into their wallets in order to do a bit of poaching on their own with Icardi. Forking out €110 million to meet the reported release clause would be the easier part of the bargain it seems – convincing the headstrong forward to leave and return to Spain, a more difficult one.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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