Mauro Icardi, Inter’s top scorer was interviewed by Tuttosport before the coming game against Juventus, here are his words:
Do you remember your first goal against Juventus, with Sampdoria?
“Well, it was a beautiful day, I was hoping to score two goals in Buffon, and instead I scored only one, but it was phenomenal as we were down to ten after half an hour of the first half for the expulsion of Berardi, we were well under a goal and then my goals came.”
What did Buffon say to you after the game?
“He approached me while I was doing the interviews and whispered ‘now you have to thank me’ and he was right as In fact it was an important step in my career in Italy because those goals with Sampdoria have allowed me to arrive at Inter.”
You repeated it last season, coming late in the game and scoring in Buffon.
“In that day I understood what the Derby d’Italia means for the fans as soon as I scored the San Siro trembled and when I was celebrating, I saw emotions in the faces of the people. I felt a unique vibration and I really realized what it means to be protagonists in games like this. Too bad that after a minute they drew.”
Do you think you had improved in those two years?
“Today I am more experienced, you become smarter by time, and acquire the needed malice to get past the defenders, only remaining is the speed of execution and decision taking, that’s the difference between playing in Serie A and with your friends.”
Barcelona did not understand you?
“Well, it’s the same thing happened with Ibra although he was a great striker, but Barca in the last ten years does not need a center forward, their game does not include it and That convinced me to go to Sampdoria.”
Ibra is your idol?
“No, but he remains a great striker and a top player despite getting older, but my Idol is Batistuta, and I looked up to Eto’o while I was in Barcelona.”
Tensions during games?
“No, not at all, I don’t mind what people say of me.”
But you were whistled in Genoa and against Maxi Lopez.
“If people want to boo me, I do not care, at Marassi they were thirty thousand doing it, well, they gave me an extra boost to prove my worth.”
There will be many whistles in Turin.
“No problem, I like it as it charges me.”
Game against Juventus is the turning point?
“If we want to do something this year, we have to do things right, starting from training. And to do that, you must follow what the coach says, it is not about winning or not in one game, the turning point is that we have to give everything in the second round.”
How do you win in Turin?
“It’ll be difficult to go there and play your way, Juventus won’t gift us anything, Tevez scoring goals and knows how to play all over the field and everything is built around Pirlo.”
What can Inter learn from Juventus?
“Juve won three consecutive championships because they did things right. And now, over time, have acquired a mindset that allows them to continue to win.”
Mancini said that too, what’s the difference then?
“He’s right, when they score goal, they aim to score another one while when we score one we start to retreat rather than continue to play like we were doing before. Do not know if it’s a mental problem but it now seems a habit. Juventus and Roma have a different mentality that they have created with work. Conte, for example, has made a winning team of Juve aiming to get a result in every game.”
Mancini has won so much before as a player, then as manager, can he help you?
“He, from day one, invited us to work with joy and told us to be more positive. He also started to work on the mental part, I do not know if there was negativity before, but there was a change of coach and now it is up to us to work well to change things.”
What has changed in the way you play after Mancini’s arrival?
“The coaches always ask me the same things, to help the team and press, to participate in the game, as when I was in Sampdoria when I had to do everything alone, with Mazzarri I was calm and got used to wait for the cross to put the ball inside, now I’ll have to start over again.”
How can Podolski help the team?
“He’s a great player, a sign that the president wants to improve the team for the second round. His arrival will be good for the team.”
Strongest opponent to mark you?
“Juan Jesus, when I still played at Sampdoria, the ball was always kicked from in front of me, I still remind him every day. And we laugh about it.”
How did you feel watching the World Cup on TV?
“Actually I did not see except a couple of games for Argentina. I was too busy organizing the wedding and thinking about my life.”
How far is the Champions League dream?
“Honestly, I do not miss it, I’ve never played in it.”
“You have to ask Piero Aid and my agent, if he gave me the ok we’re going to sign.”
Twenty years old with four children.
“You say that because you are not South American, It’s normal there, the most important thing tho is that it lasts, the other night Valentino had a fever and I could not sleep.”