Thursday February 27 2014
Upstaging El Principe

Mauro Icardi’s barnstorming cameos for Inter mean it is only a matter of time before he overtakes Diego Milito in the pecking order, writes Jeremy Lim.

Social media escapades come as naturally as goals to Mauro Icardi, so it was no surprise when a new stir crept up last Tuesday. The striker tweeted a video montage his flame Wanda Nara had compiled, in which a friend was seen ripping up a picture of Inter teammate Diego Milito and declaring: “Adesso basta ‘Principi’, voglio solo Mauro Icardi.” - “Enough of the Prince, I only want Mauro Icardi.”

Although Milito apparently took it all in good humour and laughed off the incident later, he has every reason to feel threatened by his compatriot’s presence. There is no telling how long more the ailing statesman can stave off his younger counterpart’s bid for a starting shirt, at his expense. Just days before the Twitter episode, Icardi had replaced him in the Nerazzurri’s trip to Fiorentina and scored the winner. That strike, a crisp finish on the volley, took the 21-year-old’s tally to a goal every 82 minutes.

Walter Mazzarri performed the swap again to good effect versus Cagliari. With the outfit clawing her way back into the match and San Siro crying out for a finishing touch to be applied, Icardi would promptly oblige by knocking down the ball for Rolando’s equaliser. The former Barcelona youth then turned a glancing header on to the bar next. Had he converted that or either of his two other woodworks this term, then Milito could be left looking in on an even more formidable striking ratio.

At 34, Milito plays on like he has lost his drive. Ineffectual since the turn of 2014, the Treble veteran has struggled to discover his former rhythm since undergoing surgery last February. The Inter faithful will therefore be relieved that Icardi is not keen on showing too much deference for the illustrious company he is in, as the talented bomber continues proving the newest hit by tearing out of the blocks thrust with the mantle of scorer.

Pre-season hype being compared next to Gabriel Batistuta was always going to be in excess, but Icardi, who struck 10 goals for Sampdoria in the previous campaign, is proving to be a quality prospect at the very least. A very-public romance with Wanda might have dogged his time at Appiano Gentile to date, yet the youngster’s basic intent and dead-eye finishing on display in flashes - including a Derby d’Italia opener, his fourth goal past Juventus in three appearances - suggests his moves are just as slick on the pitch as they are off it.

Most crucially, the starlet is demonstrating an ability to lift Inter’s performances when around. For all the time Icardi has spent nursing a sports hernia and then gallivanting online, he somehow manages to transform his team’s outlook in a game by injecting a rare breed of presence upfront.

The onus now rests on Mazzarri to entrust his man, who is developing at a fine rate under increased faith, with a starting berth at Roma this Saturday. Representing the Milan giant’s potential to improve still, Icardi promises to rouse the side further from their slumber.  Milito, beware - Inter’s prolific future is here.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with

Have your say...
Icardi is the next Vieri, but a better version as he is Argentinian, Forza Inter!
on the 8th March, 2014 at 2:00pm
as an inter fan i think the media is always trying to make a fuss out of anyth that happens at inter,The Prince proved himself to inter fans already,and i think he knws that he is not fit for a starting place any more,icardi is the future,but honestly i think inter's main problem is jonathan who is not by any means a player worthy of an inter shirt,and i cant understand y mazzari doesnt play d'ambrosio in his place,alvarez should be sold aswell,for nxt yr we need a tough dmf,a lb and rb
on the 28th February, 2014 at 9:39am
Who Cares,
Thats the problem,Dont worry about Icardi, or El Principe. The Italians shoudl be bringing up ans supporting theor own people. Icardim will probably end up goign to Barca, Real Madrid or PSG.
on the 27th February, 2014 at 10:19pm
Hmm that's a good point actually, being a great starter and being a great sub are very different things, theres only one way to find out though, Icardi has to be given a run of starts. Totally with you on the Icardi/Botta partnership, could be immense, kind of reminds me of Vieri/Baggio!
on the 27th February, 2014 at 5:14pm
As much as I appreciate what Milito has done for us, I think its time he takes a backseat. I'll never forget the incredible memories he gave us but its clear age and injuries have caught up to him. At the same time, Icardi has been most effective when coming off the bench, at the moment he is the definition of a super sub and perhaps we should stick with that. He comes on and within minutes he either scores or sets up a teammate. I would however like to see a Botta-Icardi partnership up front.
on the 27th February, 2014 at 3:57pm
great article. Forzaaa Icardi
on the 27th February, 2014 at 2:19pm
The guy who is talked about more not because of the goals he scores (his actual job) but for the pictures of him and his girlfriend and the various positions they "did it last night" is the "Prince" of Inter Milan ?? LOL, no wonder that club is in the gutter !!
on the 27th February, 2014 at 2:10pm
dont count out the prince, his reign will live on for eternity!
on the 27th February, 2014 at 2:06pm
Inter are just a bad team and a bad set up, Vidic woo wee 32 years old, Hernanes inconsistent, average youngsters too
on the 27th February, 2014 at 1:05pm
Milito is and always will be a legend, nothing can change that, but the truth is that he shouldn't be getting anywhere near this starting 11. This should be a no brainer for anyone, except Mazzarri obviously, who has seen even five minutes of Milito this season. Sad fact is, his legs are long gone and his finishing is quickly catching up.
on the 27th February, 2014 at 12:22pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.