As you may be aware, Mauro Icardi is not exactly what you might call flavour of the week at Inter Milan at the moment as the Argentine striker finds himself embroiled in a bitter feud with a section of the supporters.
It all began when Icardi criticised Inter ultras in his new autobiography, specifically in reference to an incident after an away game against Sassuolo in 2015 after which he supposedly became a “hero” to his teammates by squabbling with a few gobby fans.
Discussing the altercation in his memoir, the 23-year-old also took time to commit this delightful passage to the page:
I am ready to face them (the Ultras) one by one. How many are there? 50, 100, 200? Okay, record my message and let them listen: ‘I’ll bring 100 criminals from Argentina who’ll kill them where they stand, then we’ll see.’
Unsurprisingly, the Ultras didn’t take kindly to the threats being made against their lives.
Indeed, the Curva Nord supporters group issued the following statement over the weekend, accusing the forward of fabricating his version of the clash in Sassuolo before branding him “a clown” and demanding 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 [in Icardi’s book] talking about us.
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 used to consider 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.
In fairness, Icardi duly took to social media and apologised in an effort to quell the ire ahead of Inter’s game against Cagliari at the San Siro on Sunday.
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 🔵⚫️🔵⚫️
In a statement on Instagram, Icardi attempted to make peace by explaining that his temper had got the better of him while writing his book and that he was “surprised” and “saddened” by the turmoil it had created.
However, his words went almost entirely unheeded as the fans booed him out onto the pitch, where he was met with a handful of disparaging banners including one that referred to him as a “vile piece of sh*t”…
The whole banner reads: “You use a child to justify yourself and fling mud at us… You’re not a man… You’re not a captain… You are just a vile piece of sh*t.”
Icardi then and did himself no favours whatsoever by missing a penalty in a 2-1 defeat for Inter.
Speaking just before kick-off, Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti confirmed that the club will be taking action against Icardi, telling Mediaset:
We can not accept such behaviour from a person who works for the club.
We’ll talk after the game, will evaluate everything and if we are going to remove the captaincy.
The behaviour of everyone has to be in line with the historical values of Inter and you have to be careful what you write on social networks.
Then, as if to ram the point home, photos of a large banner draped outside of Icardi’s house began doing the rounds on Sunday afternoon.
— FcInter1908 (@FcInter1908it) October 16, 2016
Strategically left in place by group of Ultras, the message reads: “We are here. Were are your Argentinian friends? Will you tell us or are you a bastard like always?”
Stay tuned folks.