If Diego Maradona had his way, Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi would be nowhere near the Argentina national team. In fact, the outspoken Maradona claims Icardi should be the seventh-choice striker for Argentina.
“Let Icardi be the seventh striker, not the fourth. Before calling up Icardi, I’d pick [43-year-old Daniel] Bazan Vera,” Maradona told Radio Rivadavia, via Goal.com.
“I really like Lucas Pratto. I would prefer to leave Icardi away from the national team.”
Of course, this isn’t much of a surprise given Maradona’s public opinion of Icardi. In the past, Maradona has labeled the 23-year-old a traitor and said that in his day, Argentina teammates would have taken turns beating him up.
Maradona’s spite for Icardi stems from Icardi’s relationship with his wife, Wanda Nara, who had previously been married with children to another Argentine, Maxi Lopez. By most accounts, Icardi and Nara began their relationship while she was still involved with Icardi’s former teammate.
That very public feud has pretty much blown over, but Maradona can’t help but take another shot at Icardi. Perhaps he felt the need to speak out because Icardi has been tearing it up for years in Serie A. That form has caught the eye of Edgardo Bauza, who has mentioned Icardi’s name as a possible call-up in the past.
Given the plethora of center forward options Bauza has at Argentina — Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, and the aforementioned Icardi and Pratto — it’s likely Icardi’s freeze out has little to do with the striker’s scandalous past. Nevertheless, if Maradona can somehow find a way to keep Icardi out of the team, rest assured he’ll probably do it.