Saturday May 12 2018
Crespo: 'Argentina need Icardi'

Hernan Crespo insists Mauro Icardi “has no equal inside the penalty area,” but the Inter striker is snubbed by Argentina because “he’s not friends with Leo Messi.”

Icardi is challenging for the Capocannoniere title with 28 goals in 32 Serie A appearances this season.

“If I were Inter, I’d never, ever sell Icardi. What sign would it give to the fans if their most representative, most talented player, the captain of the team, was sold?” Crespo told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I don’t know of teams who reinforce by selling their best player. If anything, it’s important to build on the top player, finding a group that can support him and let him perform to his best.

“Inside the penalty area, Icardi has no equal on a global scale. When a cross arrives, he is deadly. If you want to build moves with central passing, then Gonzalo Higuain or Sergio Aguero are more suited, but if you do like Inter with tons of crosses flung into the box, where are you going to get anyone better than Icardi?

“He has such quick thinking and then executes it, he is physically like a bull, shoots well with his right or left foot, gets almost everything in the air.

“After Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, who are on another planet, there are many strikers challenging for the third step on that podium and I put Icardi in there.”

At the age of 25, Maurito has 109 top flight goals in 188 games, but looks set to be dropped for the 2018 World Cup squad.

“As far as I can see, it’s because he is no friend of Messi, or am I wrong? My beloved Seleccion is now built around a magic circle, understand? Icardi is not in that circle and therefore, unfortunately, won’t go to the World Cup in Russia.

“I believe this is a terrible mistake. Argentina really need a striker like him.”

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