Icardi: "Amazing to get so much attention from the fans"


"Especially at the age of 20. I chose number 9 because world-class players have worn it before me"

PINZOLO - Roberto Scarpini interviewed Mauro Icardi for us today. Amongst other things, the Argentine youngster spoke about his delight at the welcome he's been given by Interisti, the responsibility that comes with wearing the No.9 shirt and he also promised lots of goals...

Here you can read the full text of the interview that aired on Inter Channel's Radio Appiano at 17:00 this afternoon.

The most popular shirt here in Pinzolo is yours: you're already the fans' favourite new signing...
"It's amazing and, as I said the other day, for someone who's just 20 like myself it means a lot."

And you haven't even scored yet, think what it's going to be like when you start banging them in! You averaged a goal every three games in Serie A with Sampdoria – not bad for someone who only took the step up to the first team last year.
"It certainly wasn't something I expected either, I don't think anyone expected it! The other players helped me at the start and it was thanks to everyone's help that I managed to get those goals."

How did you find making that step up from youth football to the real deal? Perhaps it's even more difficult for a striker.
"It sure is tough for a striker because you have to battle it out with experienced defenders, many of whom have been in the game for years. Last season I quickly got used to taking kicks and elbows. Little by little you learn new tricks."

And with the twelve cameras we have nowadays, it's important you don't react...
Right. If you get punched or they do something else to you, you have to keep calm and just concentrate on trying to win the game without getting into arguments with your opponents."

You started out in Argentina, then went to Barcelona's famed cantera and then you came to Italy and  Sampdoria's youth ranks. What differences are there between Barcelona and Italy at youth level?
"At Barcelona a lot of work is done with kids aged 9 and 10 – they already start playing at quite a high level at that age. They all play the same formation as the first team and there's a huge amount of work done on technique, tactics and positioning on the field, just like in the first team. So if a player does work his way up to the senior side he's ready for it all. Here in Italy the kids don't train in the same way as the first team."

We've seen the photos of you and Messi and we hope you'll get to meet again in the Argentina national side, or maybe even at Inter one day, just not at Barcelona...
"It would be brilliant if he came to Inter."

Inter have Zanetti, an icon for the Argentine people. But for a young striker your icon can only be Messi, can't it?
"Yes, I think it has to be, looking at everything he's done and what he'll go on to do. He's definitely not going to pack it all in and he'll always be the best in the world."

You chose the number 9 shirt. That's a lot of responsibility...
"It doesn't matter what number you've got on your back. Last year I had 98 and it didn't matter. It's true that traditionally 9 has been worn by world-class players, here and across the world. I chose it because I like it a lot and if I manage to achieve something good in my career it's something I'll be able to remember."

Why number 98?
"Because I'd taken number 99 when Cassano left Sampdoria then Pellè arrived and asked for 99, so I was moved down one..."

You've got a lot of names tattooed on your right arm.
Guido is my brother, Ivana my sister, Juan my dad, then there's my mum, my grandparents, an angel... the whole family."

And on your left arm?
"There's nothing on it yet but you never know, maybe I'll get to have some trophies tattooed!"

How come you're so fond of tattoos?
"I got my first one done when I was 15. I think it's a nice thing to be able to carry around my family and other people I care about on my body forever."

What do you like doing in your free time? Have you got a girlfriend?
"I'm single at the moment. One of my great loves is music - cumbia and reggaeton in particular."

What do you want to say to your new fans who have already taken to you?
"I want to thank them for the amazing reception they've given me this week. People are happy that I've joined and I hope to repay them by scoring lots of goals and making them even happier."

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