Mauro Icardi

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Mauro Icardi
Dnepr-Inter (2).jpg
Icardi playing for Internazionale in 2014
Personal information
Full name Mauro Emanuel Icardi Rivero
Date of birth (1993-02-19) 19 February 1993 (age 24)
Place of birth Rosario, Argentina
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Internazionale
Number 9
Youth career
2002–2008 Vecindario
2008–2011 Barcelona
2011–2012 Sampdoria
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2013 Sampdoria 33 (11)
2013– Internazionale 125 (71)
National team
2012–2013 Argentina U20 5 (3)
2013– Argentina 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 May 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 October 2013

Mauro Emanuel Icardi Rivero (born 19 February 1993) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a striker and serves as captain for Italian club Internazionale.

He started his career in the youth system at Barcelona before moving to Sampdoria, where he began his professional career. He joined Inter in 2013, and during the 2014–15 season, he was the joint winner of the Capocannoniere title, awarded to the top scorer in Serie A.

Icardi is also an international with Argentina having made his senior debut in October 2013.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Icardi was born in Rosario, Argentina and moved to Spain's Canary Islands when he was 6. He began his football career with Vecindario in Gran Canaria, and scored over 500 goals in their youth categories.

In 2007, he was disputed over by Barcelona and Real Madrid, after offers from Valencia, Sevilla, Espanyol, Deportivo La Coruña, Arsenal and Liverpool. Barcelona won the race for Icardi, and signed with them until 2013.[1]

Icardi joined the Catalan club at the start of 2008–09 season and was included on the U-17 team. He was promoted to the U-19 team the following season before joining Sampdoria on loan in January 2011. Icardi later stated that leaving Barcelona was not a bad decision, convinced that his decision to move on was the right one.[2]

Sampdoria[edit]

On 11 January 2011, Sampdoria confirmed Icardi had signed with the club on loan[3] until the end of the season. After a successful six-month loan for la Samp, scoring 13 goals in 19 games with the Primavera team, the Italian side utilised the option to buy Icardi for €400,000 in July 2011, signing a three-year deal.[3][4] In 2011–12 season, he scored 19 goals in the reserve league Group A, as the joint-third topscorer of the league along with Gonzalo Barreto of Group C.

On 12 May 2012, he made his first-team debut, against Juve Stabia, after coming off the bench to replace Bruno Fornaroli in the 75th minute of the match. Ten minutes later, Icardi scored his first professional goal to win the match 2–1 for Sampdoria.[5]

On 26 September 2012, he made his Serie A debut for Sampdoria against Roma, substituting the Paraguayan midfielder Marcelo Estigarribia in the 49th minute.[6] On 12 November, Icardi scored his first goal in Serie A in the Derby della Lanterna against Genoa in an eventual 3–1 win.[7] On 6 January 2013, he scored two goals against Juventus in Sampdoria's 2–1 upset at Juventus Stadium.[8] It was Juventus's second ever loss in the Juventus Stadium since the construction.[9]

On 27 January 2013, he scored four goals in a six-goal thrashing of fellow strugglers Pescara, lifting the Genoese side clear of the Serie A relegation zone.[10] On 18 May, during the final match of 2012–13 season, Icardi scored again against Juventus, helping the team to beat the eventual champions of Italy 3–2 at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.[11]

Internazionale[edit]

In late April, it was announced that Icardi would join Inter before the beginning of the 2013–14 season.[12] The deal was also later confirmed by Sampdoria board.[13] The transfer fee was €6.5 million for 50% registration rights.[14] Icardi was officially unveiled as an Inter player on 16 July along with Algerian striker Ishak Belfodil,[15] where he was allocated squad number 9.[16] He said that moving to Inter is a "dream come true",[16] adding that "he had a lot of offers, but he wanted only Inter".[17]

He made his unofficial debut one day later during the 3–0 away win against Trentino Select XI by playing in the first half of the 3–0 away win.[18] He scored his first goal for Inter in their 1–1 pre-season friendly draw with Bundesliga club Hamburger SV,[19] netting after less than two minutes on the field and being assisted by Fredy Guarín.[20]

2013–14 season[edit]

On 25 August 2013, Icardi made his Inter official debut, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 2–0 home success over Genoa, hitting the crossbar late in the game;[21] he scored his first league goal for the Nerazzurri on 14 September, netting the first of a 1–1 home draw against Juventus, after coming on as a substitute in the 73rd minute.[22]

Due to injury, Icardi missed most of the games of the first part of the season,[23] only returning to first-team matches in February. On 14 February 2014, during the away match against Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi, Icardi returned in the field after four months and scored the winner after only ten minutes.[24] Later, on 5 April, Icardi scored a brace during the 2–2 home draw against Bologna.[25] That was his first brace of his Inter career. This was followed by another brace during the 0–4 away win against his former side Sampdoria.[26] Before the match, he was booed by the home fans, but he quieted them down by scoring in the 13th minute from a cross from Palacio, making a negative gesture which saw him booked.[27]

On 10 May 2014, in Javier Zanetti's last competitive match at the San Siro, in which Inter defeated Lazio 4–1 to secure a place in Europa League play-off for next season, Icardi scored the second goal of the match in the 37th minute after an assist from Kovačić and went to celebrate with Zanetti.[28] He ended his first season with Nerazzurri with 23 matches in all competitions, including 22 in the league, scoring 9 goals in the process with an average of one goal in every 145 minutes.

On 10 June 2014, Inter and Sampdoria reached the deal to terminate the co-ownership for another €6.5 million,[14] making Inter was the sole employer of Icardi in the football field.[29]

2014–15 season[edit]

On 20 August 2014, in Inter's first match of the season against Iceland's Stjarnan for first leg of play-off round of the 2014–15 Europa League, Icardi opened a 3–0 away win.[30] That was his first European goal, in his European debut. In the returning leg, he came in as a second-half substitute and scored two times in a 6–0 win at the San Siro, to advance his team into the group stage 9–0 on aggregate.[31]

During the second match of the league season on 14 September, he scored his second Serie A hat-trick in a 7–0 thrashing of Sassuolo.[32] Ten days later, Icardi was injured and substituted in the 24th minute for Dani Osvaldo during the 2–0 home win against Atalanta.[33] On 26 October, Icardi netted his first Serie A goal for over a month, the winner on a penalty kick against Cesena and giving Inter their first away win of the league.[34] He was decisive again three days later, scoring a 90th-minute penalty kick won by Zdravko Kuzmanović in a 1–0 win against Sampdoria, giving his former side their first loss of 2014–15 season.[35]

On 9 November, Icardi scored twice after two assists by Palacio during a 2–2 home draw against Hellas Verona.[36] This draw caused the sacking of coach Walter Mazzarri, who was replaced with the returning Roberto Mancini.[37] On 6 January of the following year, in the first match of the second part of the season, Icardi netted the only goal for his team during the 1–1 draw against Juventus at Juventus Stadium; the goal came in 64th minute after a pass from the Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarín.[38] During that match, he had a conflict with his strike partner Osvaldo who was angry with him after Icardi decided to shoot instead of passing to his teammate who was in a better position to score.[39] Due to this, Osvaldo left the team in the end of January.[40] Five days later, Icardi was decisive in Inter's 3–1 home win against Genoa, scoring the second goal and earlier making an overhead kick (saved by goalkeeper) which was turned into an assist for Palacio.[41]

In the match against Sassuolo, Inter lost 1–3 with Icardi scoring the only goal for his team after a mistake from the Sassuolo defence. After the match, he along with Guarín had a conflict with the fans at the Mapei Stadium. They went to throw their shirt to the fans who refused and threw them back at them, spewing insults at them.[42] On 7 February, Icardi responded by scoring twice in a 3–0 home win against Palermo, refusing to celebrate in the process.[43] After the match Icardi told to the media that the reason he did not celebrate was not the conflict with the fans but failing to find a way to renew his contract with the club directors. He was later criticized by Mancini for not celebrating.[44]

On 11 April, he scored the first goal during the 0–3 away win against Verona, helping Inter get their first win after six consecutive matches.[45] He scored twice on the final day in a 4–3 win over Empoli and finished the season as the joint Serie A top goalscorer with 22 goals with Verona's Luca Toni.[46] Although Inter failed to qualify for European competition for the first time since 1999, Icardi's form attracted attention from abroad, however he signed a new four-year contract at the season's end.[47]

2015–16 season: Captain[edit]

Before the start of 2015–16 season, it was announced that Icardi would be the new captain of Inter, replacing Andrea Ranocchia who lost his status after a poor 2014–15 season.[48] In his first match as skipper, he was taken off after 15 minutes during the league win against Atalanta; Icardi was substituted for Stevan Jovetić, who scored the winning goal in the third minute of added time.[49] After the examinations, it was announced that Icardi suffered a thigh injury and he missed the following league match against Carpi.[50] He made his comeback on 13 September during the 1–0 home win against the cross-town rivals of Milan and opened his scoring account one week later against Chievo Verona, helping Inter to clinch the 4th consecutive victory.[51][52] On 27 September, Icardi was again on the scoresheet but this time in a 1–4 defeat versus Fiorentina, who ended Inter's undefeated streak of the 2015–16 season.[53]

One month later, on 28 October, following the 0–1 away win over Bologna where Icardi scored the only goal of the match following an assist from Adem Ljajić,[54] he complained about lack of services to him, accusing his teammates in the process. Icardi told the media that: "In ten matches I've received four chances to score, and I've taken three. I think that is a good average."[55] After that, he was benched for the following league match against Roma, where Inter won, again a 1–0 victory.[56] After the game, coach Mancini said that leaving Icardi on the bench was a "tactical decision", adding that Icardi "must improve his game".[57][58] He returned to the starting lineup in the next league match against Torino, where Inter grabbed another 1–0 victory.[59]

On 22 November, in his 100th Serie A appearance, he scored in a 4–0 win over the minnows of Frosinone, helping Inter to seal its biggest victory of the season.[60] On 13 December, Icardi netted his first brace of the season, in the 0–4 thrashing of Udinese, benefiting in both occasions from the mistakes of Udinese defenders.[61] In Inter's final match of 2015, Icardi's goal was not enough to avoid the 2–1 home loss against Lazio, but still the team managed to end the year in the first place.[62] At the end of the year, Icardi was ranked the 82nd best footballer in the world by the English newspaper The Guardian.[63]

On 6 January 2016, Icardi finished Ivan Perišić's cross from close range for the only goal away against Empoli, putting Inter on top of Serie A.[64] A month later, on 3 February, he scored his 50th Inter goal in all competitions in a 1–0 home win over Chievo, returning Inter to its winning ways after four consecutive matches.[65][66] In February 2016, it was reported by several newspapers that Inter had rejected a €30 million bid from Manchester United to sign Icardi.[67][68][69] On 9 April, he scored his 50th Serie A goal in a 1–0 away win over Frosinone, making his 100th Inter appearance in the process.[70]

2016–17 season[edit]

Icardi started the season on 21 August by playing in the 2–0 away defeat to Chievo in the opening league match,[71] and scored his first goal of the season a week later during the 1–1 draw against Palermo at home.[72] On 11 September, Icardi scored both goals, including a last-minute winner, as Inter overturn the score against newly promoted side Pescara for the first win of the season under the new coach Frank de Boer.[73] One week later, in the Derby d'Italia match against Juventus, Icardi scored an equalizer in the 68th minute, and provided the Ivan Perišić goal ten minutes later, as Inter overturn the score again to beat the lifetime rivals for the first time in league since November 2012.[74] It was Icardi's seventh goal in eight appearances against Juventus, making thus his favourite opponent to score against.[75] This was followed by a brace in Inter's 2–0 win at Empoli three days later, taking the lead of goalscorers table with six goals in six appearances; it was also the first time that he has scored in four consecutive Serie A matches.[76][77]

On 7 October, Icardi signed a new contract extension with Inter until June 2021, with a buy-out clause of €110 million.[78][79] With the new deal, Icardi will earn €4,5 million per season plus various bonuses based on his performances, goals and image rights. Shortly after signing the contract, Icardi stated: "I'm really happy to have signed this new contract that will keep me at the club until 2021. My dream is to win trophies with this team. I heard lots of things during the transfer window, as you always do, but the club was on my side. I have my agent and wife Wanda to thank for this renewal and we're all pleased at home."[80]

Icardi scored a brace to beat Torino 2–1 at the San Siro, giving Inter their first win in their last 5 games.[81] Then, he continued with his outrageous form, scoring back-to-back home braces against Crotone and Fiorentina.[82][83] In the last match of 2016, Icardi scored another brace against Lazio to help Inter finish the year on a high.[84] He finished the first part of the season with 14 goals and 5 assists, being the most efficient striker in top 5 leagues, overtaking stars such Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.[85][86] The Guardian named him the world's 49th best player, winning 33 positions compare to last year ranking.[87]

On 15 January 2017, in the 3–1 home win against Chievo which was the fifth consecutive win in league, Icardi scored his 15th league goal of the season becoming the first Inter player to score at least 15 goals in three consecutive seasons since Zlatan Ibrahimović and Cristian Vieri.[88][89] On March 12, Icardi scored a hat trick against Atalanta, bringing his tally to 20 goals for the season.

International career[edit]

Youth[edit]

In April 2012, Icardi received a call-up from Italy under-19 squad to play in the friendly against England, but the player refused to accept the invitation as he wanted to play for Argentina.[90][91] His wish was fulfilled on 26 July where he was summoned by Argentina under-20 coach Marcelo Trobbiani to play in the friendly against Germany,[92] in which he made his debut on 14 August at Commerzbank-Arena, and the L'Alcúdia Tournament, held in Valencia, Spain.

Icardi scored his first goal with Argentina U20 on 19 August in a 2–0 win over Japan,[93] which was followed by another two in the 2–1 win against Turkey three days later.[94] The tournament ended in conquest, as Icardi was the top scorer with three goals.[95]

Senior[edit]

Following Italy national football team manager Cesare Prandelli's interest in Icardi's performances, in February 2013, Icardi stated his wish to play for the Argentina senior team, despite also being eligible to play for Italy, saying: "I'm very grateful to Italian football for the opportunity it has given me, I'd also like to thank Prandelli for the nice words he expressed about me. But I have to be honest and sincere - I'm Argentine, I feel Argentine, and I've always dreamed of wearing the shirt of my nation. To actually do that would be the maximum for me."[96]

On 15 October 2013 he played his first game for the main squad, coming on as an 82nd-minute substitute for Augusto Fernández in a 2–3 FIFA World Cup qualifier loss away to Uruguay.[97]

In April 2016, Icardi was excluded from Gerardo Martino's preliminary squad for the Copa América Centenario,[98] although the Argentine manager later named him to Argentina's preliminary under-23 squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.[99] However, Inter did not release Icardi to participate in the Olympics.[100]

In October 2016, rumours started to speculate in Argentina that Lionel Messi was behind Icardi's exclusion from the national team due to his friendship with Maxi López, his wife's former partner.[101][102] The national team coach Edgardo Bauza stated that Icardi's off-field antics have nothing to do with him not being selected for Argentina and he would receive a call-up soon, adding that Messi does not "dictate" the team.[103][104] However, he was omitted again for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Brazil and Colombia in November.[105]

On 19 May 2017, Icardi received his first call-up after more than three years by newly appointed coach Jorge Sampaoli for the friendlies against Brazil and Singapore in June.[106]

Style of play[edit]

Nicknamed El Niño del partido, and O cañito,[107] Icardi is a quick, tactically intelligent, and physically strong striker, with good technique, attacking movement, positioning, and an eye for goal, who mainly operates in central areas inside the penalty area; an accurate and efficient finisher with his head and both feet inside the box, he is known for his ability to score from few touches, although he can also hold up the ball in order to create space or chances for other players, and play off of his teammates.[107][108][109][110][111] Although he was once criticised for his limited creative and defensive contribution, as well as his lack of movement outside the box,[108][110] his work-rate has improved in recent seasons, and has seen him drift out to wide positions in order to create space or provide assists for teammates.[112][113] Long regarded as a talented and promising prospect,[108] in 2013, Don Balón listed him as one of the top 100 young players born after 1992.[114]

Speaking of Icardi, Inter coach Stefano Pioli stated that Icardi "is an animal in the box", and "always finding the right position",[115] while the 1982 FIFA World Cup winner Paolo Rossi described Icardi as "deadly striker", adding that "even in the most complicated games he can create the right opportunity and take advantage of it."[116]

Personal life[edit]

Icardi is married to Argentine media personality Wanda Nara. Nara was married to Icardi's former Sampdoria teammate Maxi López, but the couple split after her relationship with Icardi was exposed. She and López began divorce proceedings in December 2013.[117] Nara and Icardi subsequently married on 27 May 2014, not long after the divorce was finalised, at a small ceremony in Buenos Aires, Argentina.[118] They have 2 daughters, Francesca, born on 19 January 2015,[119] and Isabella, born on 27 October 2016.[120]

The scandalous nature of the marriage has brought a lot of animosity against Icardi in Argentina, making him a favorite of rumors and unsubstantiated claims by Argentinian tabloids. It has been argued that the, arguably, generalized hatred against him has been an important factor against his being called to the national team, and even prospect calls have been heavily criticized by people like retired star Diego Maradona, who has entangled in bitter exchanges with Icardi on twitter as a result of his marriage to Nara.[121] During an April 2014 Serie A match between Sampdoria and Inter, López notably refused to shake Icardi's hand, leading the press to dub the game the "Wanda derby".[122] Two years later, López repeated the history by again refusing to shake Icardi's hand during a Serie A match against Torino.[123]

Icardi is of Italian origin through his paternal ancestors named Icardi from Piedmont and Da Mezan from Venice.[124] He has an Italian passport.[125] He features on the cover of the Italian version of EA Sports' FIFA 16, alongside global cover star and compatriot Lionel Messi.[126] On 6 December 2015, Icardi was robbed of his £29,000 Hublot watch after Inter's 1–0 win over Genoa.[127]

On 11 October 2016, Icardi released his autobiography called Sempre Avanti (Always Forward) published by Sperling & Kupfer. The book caused controversy as Icardi had described an incident which offended certain Inter fans, leading to a banner being displayed calling for Icardi to leave the club.[128] He was fined by the club and was forced to remove that chapter from the book.[129][130]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 17 May 2017.[131][132]
Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sampdoria 2011–12 2 1 0 0 2 1
2012–13 31 10 0 0 31 10
Total 33 11 0 0 33 11
Internazionale 2013–14 22 9 1 0 23 9
2014–15 36 22 2 1 10[a] 4 48 27
2015–16 33 16 1 0 34 16
2016–17 34 24 2 0 5[a] 2 41 26
Total 125 71 6 1 15 6 146 78
Career total 158 82 6 1 15 6 179 89
  1. ^ a b All appearances in Europa League.

International[edit]

As of 15 October 2013[133]
Argentina national team
Year Apps Goals
2013 1 0
Total 1 0

Honours[edit]

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Andrea Ranocchia
Internazionale captain
2015–present
Incumbent