Talent. It is the most precious aspect a human can possess. You can use it to your advantage and become a legend, or you can abuse it and become a figure of failure. One player who could be heading for the latter is a talent from the Argentine manufacturing line, Mauro Icardi.
58 goals in 111 matches in four seasons so far, yet there are no trophies but he has something which is iconic to Inter Milan, the captaincy of the Nerrazzurri. One man who held the captain’s armband for Inter was another Argentine, in the legendary Javier Zanetti. Spending 18 years, 14 of which he was club captain, at the San Siro, he won countless trophies and became a hero and one of the most loved figures to have ever worn the blue and black of the Nerazzurri. But the next Argentine to wear this armband, is currently nowhere near his predecessor. So where do we begin?
Last year, Inter suffered defeat at Sassoulo and Icardi went on to give a kid his shirt. The Inter Ultras, who are known for their notorious nature, went ahead and ripped the shirt from the kid’s hand, bringing the child to tears and this enraged Icardi, who claimed he would destroy each and every Ultra and he would bring 200 criminals from Argentina to help him – talk about violent talk there! This information is according to his latest autobiography titled, Sempre Avanti, known as Always Forward. The Ultras though, have a different view.
They claim he started shouting at the them, and that he wanted to use violence. The Ultras are known for their notorious nature, and whenever a player, especially a club captain does something to humiliate the badge of Inter, they will surely turn on you. It was evident this past weekend, when they held up banners calling for Icardi to quit and hurling insults at him during Inter’s 2-1 defeat to Cagliari at the San Siro.
Icardi does not come from a violent background and never grew up in the violent areas of Rosario. So where does this blind rage come from? One needs to realise that Icardi is only 23 years old, and that given such an armband like the one for Inter is an honourable one. But with that honour comes responsibility, something which Icardi has failed to exercise so far. So what do Inter Milan need to do with regards to Icardi?
Frank De Boer is only two months into the job, and already he has to deal with the fact that Inter are sitting in the bottom half of the Serie A table and are not doing that great in the Europa League. The Icardi situation does not help, and club vice-president Zanetti has said that he may be stripped from the captaincy duties. For now maybe, stripping Icardi from his duties may be the sensible thing to do until there comes a time where maturity is instilled into the Argentine.
The armband of Inter demands passion and romance for the badge, but right now, Icardi is has all those emotions for the wrong reason. There are some things one cannot change in Icardi. One of them is of course his agent and wife Wanda Nara (she cheated on her husband and Icardi’s team-mate Maxi Lopez with her current husband and many believe that she is dangerous for Icardi despite having a daughter). But Icardi still has talent, and his stats for Inter make good reading and he remains one of the most talented players to come out of Argentina. He is also a striker who on his day can hurt some of the best defenders in the world.
He needs to make sure controversy stays away from him for quite some time, thus being stripped of the captain’s armband becomes essential until Inter management and the board see fit to reinstate him. He has also been dropped from Argentina by national team coach Edgardo Bauza. Talent has found its way by being abused. Just ask Joey Barton, Paolo Di Canio, Mario Balotelli, El Hadji Diouf among many others.
Icardi is only 23 years old. He has time to fulfill this talent. The right environment is needed, but most importantly, Icardi himself needs a complete positive revolution to make sure he becomes one of the great Argentine players to have graced the game.