HERO TO ZERO Mauro Icardi went from 20-goal a season hero at Inter Milan to becoming hated by their ultras and stripped of captaincy
HOW the mighty fall.
By the end of 2015, Inter Milan’s ‘tifosi’ were singing Mauro Icardi’s name from the stands – heralding their new goalscoring genius.
But from October 2016 – with the release of his autobiography Sempre Avanti (Always Forward) – ultras were calling for his head after he disrespected Inter’s hardcore fanbase.
The Argentinian forward, married to the stunning Wanda Nara who works as his agent, was offloaded by Antonio Conte this week, with PSG completing a £54million deal for the on-loan hitman, who has 20 goals in all competitions for the French champions.
And despite a phenomenal record of 125 goals in 219 games for the Serie A giants, many Inter fans WON’T be disappointed that their talisman has left. SunSport explains why they were happy to be rid of him.
A STICKY BEGINNING
Arriving from Sampdoria for the 2013-14 season, Icardi endured a frustrating first year at Inter – hampered by injuries.
In the backdrop, a personal scandal involving him, his former team-mate Maxi Lopez and Lopez’s then-wife Wanda Nara erupted.
Icardi was accused of stealing Wanda from Maxi, while she hit back in divorce papers in December 2013 that Lopez had cheated on her several times.
Five months after the Nara/Lopez divorce was settled, Icardi and Nara walked down the aisle in a small ceremony in Buenos Aires.
In 2016, Lopez and Icardi faced off against each other in Serie A when Inter took on Torino – in a match cruelly dubbed ‘The Wanda derby.’
The scorned lover refused to shake his rival’s hand before the game, causing rumbles in the Italian media.
A FRACTIOUS TALENT
From the outset, Icardi seemed to rub some of Inter’s fans up the wrong way.
In 2015, after a particularly disappointing 3-1 defeat to Sassuolo, the-then 22-year-old captain threw his shirt into the stands as a form of apology.
Unhappy with the gesture, the ultras threw it back in disgust, which led to Icardi frothing at the mouth and barking at his own supporters.
A year later, returning to that heated moment in his book, he called out the ultras for a fight.
“I’m ready to face them one by one,” he wrote.
“Maybe they don’t know that I grew up in one of the South American neighbourhoods with the highest crime rates and people getting killed in the street.
“How many of them (the ultras) are there? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred? OK, record my message and let them hear it. I will bring 100 criminals from Argentina who will kill them on the spot.”
The ultras responded with several banners, with one standing out amongst the sea of profanities.
It read: ‘100 goals and 100 trophies will not cancel out what a piece s*** you are.’