The 21-year-old received a lot of flak for his behaviour while dating Wanda Nara, the ex-wife of former team-mate Maxi Lopez, but he says the criticism was unfair
Inter striker Mauro Icardi has rubbished the public perception of him as a lovestruck teenager, arguing that, if anything, he is too mature.
The 21-year-old Argentine has arguably made as many headlines for his antics off the field as his performances in it, with his relationship with Wanda Nara, the ex-wife of former Sampdoria team-mate Maxi Lopez, having attracted huge media interest since it was first exposed.
However, Icardi, who was slated for his constant public declarations of love for Wanda on social media sites, insists that he has only ever followed his heart and feels that he has been poorly portrayed by the press.
Consequently, he is baffled the suggestion that he is now all grown up just because he and Wanda have now married and are expecting their first child in the New Year.
“Have I grown up? I’ve always been like this,” Icardi told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “My team-mates tell me that I’m like a 30-year-old. The truth is that I matured too early.
“I repeat that the idea of me as a different person was created by others. Yes, there has been trouble. But outside [of football]. I just did what I felt …”
There were constant reports that Inter wanted to offload Icardi during the summer, with Atletico Madrid heavily linked with a move for the forward.
However, the Rosario native, who has hit seven goals in 10 appearances in all competitions so far this season, is now reportedly set to be offered a contract extension until 2019.
Icardi claims he knows nothing about a possible new deal but he is fully committed to Erick Thohir’s plan to restore Inter to their former glory.
“I still don’t know anything yet about the renewal,” the attacker insisted. “But I chose Inter and I want to stay at Inter.
“There’s a desire to build something here. The president [Thohir] has a lot of clear ideas.
“This is a new and young project. It takes time but winning is what everyone here wants.”