Inter captaincy has not changed me, insists Icardi

The 22-year-old is happy with the added responsibility of being Nerazzurri skipper, and does not regret having turned down Italy to play for Argentina

Mauro Icardi insists he does not feel any extra pressure on his shoulders now that he is captain of Inter.

The striker was handed the armband by manager Roberto Mancini before the start of the 2015-16 season, despite being only 22-years-old.

Icardi, who signed a new long-term contract with the club in the off-season after being rumoured with a move away, believes he has the full backing of his team-mates after taking over the role from defender Andrea Ranocchia.

“Nothing has changed for me since becoming Inter captain,” Icardi told El Grafico. “I’m just continuing to live the same way as I always have.

“The decision to make me captain was made by Mancini with the consent of the whole club and, of course, I had the approval of the rest of the squad.

“It would be false of me to claim that I have changed now as a result of the responsibility. People like to talk about me and I have a certain reputation that the media plays up on.

“But the people who say these things don’t know me. The image created by the media is completely different to how I am as a person.”

Icardi scored 22 goals in Serie A last season, and although his fine form was not enough to see him add to his solitary cap for Argentina, the striker insists switching nationalities was never something he had considered.

“There will be plenty of chances for me as I’m still young,” he said when asked about his Argentina career.

“I was happy with the interest from Italy but I’m Argentine, and always said I wanted to play for Argentina.”

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