Saturday November 19 2016
Icardi: 'Inter captaincy an honour'

Inter captain Mauro Icardi dreams of the Ballon d’Or, an Argentina recall and is learning “the duties of a modern striker.”

The Derby della Madonnina kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“It is a great honour for me to wear the captain’s armband. This is my club and to be the captain of it is a huge responsibility,” he told Chinese site Tencent Sports.

This is the first match under new Coach Stefano Pioli, as Roberto Mancini left two weeks before the season began, Frank de Boer was fired after 84 days and caretaker manager Stefano Vecchi had two games in charge.

“There have been a lot of changes, but we know Suning allowed us to make many new investments which are sure to take Inter back to the top, where we belong.

“From the first day Pioli wanted to co-operate with the squad and showed he is very familiar with the way we play. He is a very good Coach who already did well at Lazio.”

Icardi has a remarkable scoring rate, practically a goal every two Serie A games, but admits he’s got a lot to learn.

“The Ballon d’Or is a dream for all players, but there are so many great talents out there. I am not a perfect centre-forward, but I am accumulating experience and knowledge from all my Coaches to learn the duties of a modern striker.

“Gabriel Batistuta was my idol when I started out and I watched many of his videos, trying to learn from him. If anyone compares me to him, that’s a great honour.

“It is definitely my aim to get back into the Argentina squad, as I haven’t been called up for three years. I’m not sure what is going wrong for the side in World Cup qualifying at the moment, but the team performances are not particularly good. Argentina has some of the world’s best players, but in a match situation you have to play as a team.

“Many years ago Italy invited me to play for the Under-21 side, but I am Argentinean. I do thank them for the offer, though.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports.