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Mauro Icardi, the dream trip to Paris that ended in a nightmare: from being one step away from the National Team to the conflict that marked his life at PSG

PSG’s bet for Icardi did not go as planned (Photo: Reuters)

The relationship between Mauro Icardi and the Inter Milano it was totally worn out. After a great campaign in the Champions League during the first half of 2019, the Argentinian striker began to press for new airs of competition. Out of nowhere, a Paris Saint Germain on the rise and with a lot of money to spend, he appeared as its buyer. The energies were renewed and the idea of ​​moving to the capital of France convinced the scorer from all sides, but all that faith in leading the ideal team turned around and today he lives a nightmare from which he cannot get out.

In the first negotiations, a loan was agreed for one year with a large purchase option: €70 million. “I thought the time had come to go to a winning club, one that is challenging, and win titles. It’s time for you to start winning. The truth is that PSG is a team full of champions, and that’s what I wanted.”were the first words of Mauro who had to compete in the first instance hand in hand for the position of 9 with Edinson Cavaniidol of the institution.

For her part, Wanda Nara – the striker’s wife and agent – ​​was also not silent when it came to confirming the transfer. “This is not a divorce. Mauro and Inter are like boyfriends who take time to think and reflect. PSG couldn’t be told noThey have everything to gain. They are a club full of stars and Mauro will now have the honor of being part of it. Inter needed to sell him, but he was the captain and he didn’t want to leave the club. It was all a strategy to sell it,” he stated.

Mauro the day he debuted with the PSG shirt against Racing de Strasbourg (Photo: AFP)
Mauro the day he debuted with the PSG shirt against Racing de Strasbourg (Photo: AFP)

At first, something smelled bad. The local media reported that the reception was not the best for Icardi. The newspaper The team was in charge of proposing a resounding hypothesis: its incorporation “It was not to everyone’s taste in the locker room” and aimed directly at his compatriots Angel Di Maria y Leandro Paredes. A striking situation, but that had a correlation with the rumors of similar characteristics in the Argentine team.

Over time, the inmates moved into second place and Icardi made his debut with the shirt on Saturday, September 14, 2019 for the fifth date of Ligue 1. Although he was not part of the starting team, the former Inter jumped onto the field at 63 minutes and was a first-person witness to Neymar’s spectacular goal with which his team beat Racing de Strasbourg 1-0. Con Thomas Tuchel still as coach of the squad, he entered the field in place of the Cameroonian Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Mauro convinced Paris. He lived the romance of it. The club was convinced to invest for that powerful goalscorer. The agreement between the French and Italians was signed in mid-2020 and PSG achieved a reduction in the purchase option: 55 million euros plus 5 goals (which would give a total of 60 million in European currency). These numbers turned Mauro Icardi into one of the most expensive soccer players in the history of Argentina. Rosario, in his first season, achieved the classic Ligue 1 and contributed to the French club reaching the final of the Champions League, where he fell with the Bayern Munich for the minimum. Everything was going smoothly thanks to his 20 goals in 34 appearances, accounting for 12 in Ligue 1 and 5 in the Champions League group stage.

Icardi arrived in mid-2019 to compete hand in hand with Cavani for the scorer's position (Photo: Reuters)
Icardi arrived in mid-2019 to compete hand in hand with Cavani for the scorer’s position (Photo: Reuters)

Although in the beginning it had a more prominent role, the Kylian Mbappé’s maturation as a footballer It was the reason why the Argentine began to receive fewer and fewer minutes. Cavani left France and Icardi stayed to fight for the first substitute position with Choupo-Moting.

At the end of that year, Paris once again decided to change its technical director and Mauricio Pochettino He was selected by the leadership. With the native of Murphy in charge, Mauro continued to alternate ownership and with minutes concentrated in the French competitions since the Champions League was Mbappé’s field. He scored in the French Super Cup final against Olympique de Marseille and the airs of greater continuity started to refloat in the head of the Argentine.

But when everything seemed to mesh within the field of play, and he was even in the orbit of the Argentine team to be quoted again, a new controversy shattered his rise in October 2021. His marital conflict with Wanda Nara had international repercussions, but mainly a sports earthquake: he missed two training sessions and was absent from a game. “Due to personal problems, Mauro has not been able to train. We will see how his personal state progresses, he is a strong-minded player… We will analyze the situation and see if it can be within the group or not”, Pochettino explained at the time at a press conference.

Rumors of Mauro's infidelity with Wanda further sank the striker's performance in Paris
Rumors of Mauro’s infidelity with Wanda further sank the striker’s performance in Paris

Already out of his position as coach, Mauricio gave details to Infobae in a recent note How did you deal with this issue?: “I think that we handle the entire management issue very well as a coaching staff. Things happen in every team and this is seen much more because it happens in a club like PSG, where the world’s spotlights are and everything became much bigger than it was. But I think that as a coaching staff we have had the ability to manage in a calm, moderate way, where we have always put cold cloths where they had to be put, or we have hit the table when we had to., but internally. We know that afterwards there are individual or image interests that sometimes cause many things to be said that are not real, and we cannot fight against that either.

the input of Christophe Galtier to the scene he brought an air of uncertainty and little hope for Mauro. The first step of the French coach was to carry out a thorough purge of the Parisian squad and created a list of “undesirables”, name used by the French press to refer to these footballers who train separately from the group.

The 29-year-old footballer did not appear among the first marginalized, but some signs from the coach began to show him the way. Even with Kylian Mbappé injured, Icardi was a substitute in the first official game of the season and Galtier preferred to send a youth player to the field in the complement rather than him.

Again some rumors of a marital problem with Wanda Nara they put him closer to the media focus than sports. Mauro tried to calm the waters with a furious statement: “I will not tolerate incompetent people who seek to dirty me.” Finally, the bomb exploded in the first duel of Ligue 1: he did not call him for the game and days later he announced that would be sent to train separately.

“It is true that it has been difficult for two years. The fact of changing places, of finding a more favorable place allows you to relaunch yourself in a career”, said the new coach about the Icardi case.

The hourglass marks September 1 as the deadline for the European market and Rosario needs a new team to shine again like in those moments that made him the most sought-after striker in Europe. With a total of 93 games (starting in 44 of them) and 38 goals, Icardi’s present implies that the next step in his professional career will be away from Paris. He played in some clubs in Italy, that earthly paradise from which he left wrapped in a conflict with the club where he became a star But for now, nobody formally bets. Will he be the relentless gunner again or will he dissolve, corroded by issues that are often unrelated to sports?

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