Mauro Icardi Demands 'Respect' in IG Post After Being Dropped from Inter Squad

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 28, 2019

Inter Milan's Argentine forward Mauro Icardi is pictured prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second-leg football match Inter Milan vs Rapid Wien on February 21, 2019 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
MIGUEL MEDINA/Getty Images

Mauro Icardi has demanded "respect" in a lengthy Instagram post after being dropped from the Inter Milan squad to face Cagliari on Friday:

Here's his statement in full, per Goal:

"It's in the most difficult moments that true love is shown. In those moments I decided to stay at Inter, with Inter.

"When I felt that with my goals I could help Inter to be stronger, in many ways. Stronger than the problems of Financial Fair Play, stronger than our difficulties, when there were many to judge that as a team we were not worth much.

"At Inter, with Inter and despite all, I've always decided to stay, and for the love of these colours, I've turned down offers that few professional players would have refused.

"I played with physical pains that brought me to tears after the game, and in the following days. But I have always insisted on taking the field, even against medical advice, because I was able to forget every pain on the field, with the only goal of giving everything I could to help these colours.

"For the LOVE of the Nerazzurri colours. Because there is only Inter. I showed my children that we must keep hope. I taught them that winning is difficult, but that doing it with Inter has a unique meaning, that only a true Inter supporter can understand and feel. The eyes of my children do not lie. This love for Inter has been learned at my house.

"I realised my dream, I realised the dream of all of us at Inter, returning to the Champions League, with the team I was captain of. Because I have always felt and transmitted love for these colours.

"I have always disapproved of those who at the first opportunity tried to leave the club. I respected the fans, my team-mates, the club, and all the coaches that passed through during my stay.

"I have collaborated with the club, both on and off the pitch, in the inclusion of every new player, showing him that only with passion could we reach our goals.

"I know what love is for Inter, and Inter fans know this because they have seen how I suffered, cried, fought and finally enjoyed these colours. At Inter. With Inter.

"But as I said, all the sacrifices were made for the love of these colours, and respecting everyone. I do not know if at this moment there is love and respect towards Inter and towards me by some who make the decisions. I do not know if there is somebody with the desire to act and solve things only and exclusively for the love of Inter.

"In a family many things can happen, beautiful or ugly. And for love you can bear a lot, of everything. But it must never lack respect. These are my values, these are the values for which I have always struggled. In my story. At Inter. With Inter."

Icardi has been stripped of the captaincy at the San Siro, with the armband handed to Samir Handanovic, and has not featured for Inter Milan since February 9.

The recent events, coupled with Icardi's failure to agree a new contract with Inter, have fuelled speculation he could be set to leave the Serie A side.

Sports journalist Siavoush Fallahi offered his view on Icardi's statement:

There have been also suggestions that Icardi's absence from the team has also been because of a knee injury. However, according to AS (h/t Perform), the club have not found any "significant problems" when conducting tests.

Inter manager Luciano Spalletti was asked about Icardi ahead of the trip to Cagliari but refused to discuss his former captain, per Goal's Guy Atkinson.

"Many things have already been said about Icardi by Marotta and Zhang," he said. "From now on I'll only talk about the players that are available for selection, not those who aren't, because they're the ones who are on the field and care about the fate of Inter. I won't talk about the others anymore."

Icardi's wife and agent, Wanda Nara, has said that the striker losing the captaincy was "like pulling one of his legs off" and he does not want to leave Inter Milan in an appearance on Mediaset television (h/t Ben Gladwell at ESPN FC).

PARMA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 09:  Mauro Icardi of FC Internazionale reacts during the Serie A match between Parma Calcio and FC Internazionale at Stadio Ennio Tardini on February 10, 2019 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Inter director Beppe Marotta has said the club plan to offer Icardi a new deal but does not know how it will be received, per Calciomercato.com.

"Let's see. I don't know if this will be the week that we will present him with our contract renewal offer, it will probably happen by next week," he said. "There aren't any deadlines, let's see. It isn't sure that Icardi accepts our proposal either..."

Yet the uncertainty surrounding Icardi's position had led to rumours that he could be set for a move to either Juventus or Napoli.

According to Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Football Italia), Napoli are willing to offer Icardi a salary worth 9 million plus bonuses a season but Inter would prefer to sell him to Juventus.

Icardi's latest comments will do little to resolve his current situation which is threatening to overshadow Inter's season.

However, the club have performed well in his absence. They have won three and drawn one of their last four games without the striker and will be confident of victory against a Cagliari side who have won just once in 2019.

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