PINZOLO - Inter's new number 9 Mauro Icardi was unveiled to the media today. The forward, 20, was introduced by sporting director Piero Ausilio alongside his new strike partner Ishak Belfodil.
"After the many offers I received in January, when I settled a number of games, I chose Inter because it's a great club in which I can continue to develop. I made the breakthrough at Sampdoria after two years in the Primavera and now I'm here to come on again even further. There were rumours flying around all over the place, Napoli came close towards the end of the window but I chose Inter, I'm here and want to do well."
The young hitman was asked who his favourite player was and how he feels about the fact that his shirt has been the biggest seller so far: "I've always looked up to Batistuta. It's great for me, I'm only 20, and if the fans are buying my shirt it means they really like me and think I can do well here: I hope to repay their faith by doing what I do best, scoring goals.
"I didn't play much at the start of last season, then I featured more once Maxi Lopez got injured. I had a great game in the derby and from then on I pretty much always played. I think you always experience highs and lows as an attacker, sometimes you score a lot, other times less so, but I don't think I've ever had a goal drought as such. I've always worked with my team-mates, right from the off, and I've always tried to help the team.
"We all know that Inter has always been one of the world's best sides. What's struck me most now is the work we're doing. Despite the fact that coaching staff and a number of players are new to the club, we're working very well, doing all we can to get to know each other better and have a great season. Being here is a dream come true, obviously I also dream of winning a lot with this team, but for now I'm just focused on the here and now."
The Argentine will replace Diego Milito for the first part of the season: "It's a huge responsibility for me but also a great opportunity to be here and try to do well. We all know Milito's a great player, but when I get my chance I'll always help my team-mates and the side to the best of my ability. Diego's not given me any advice yet though! I think I'm still young and I can improve a lot over the years and that process starts now. In terms of my technique, the tactical side, my movement... everything."
Mauro was then asked to compare Juventus' new forward line with Inter's Icardi and Belfodil: "Tevez and Llorente are already two established top players who have won a lot. We're young and I hope to one day achieve what they have. A player always dreams of doing the best he can."