Mauro Icardi Wanda Nara Inter 17022019Emilio Andreoli

Wanda Nara: Stripping Inter captaincy was like taking one of Icardi’s legs

Wanda Nara , wife and agent for Mauro Icardi, claims that taking away the captain's armband from her husband was akin to taking away one of his legs. 

Inter named goalkeeper Samir Handanovic as their new club captain last week, stripping their star striker of the role amid persistent transfer rumours.

Icardi was then left out of the squad for the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie against Rapid Vienna, and was once again not part of the side as the club claimed a win over Sampdoria on Sunday, though he was in the stands for the match.

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Now his wife, who claims Icardi would like to stay with Inter, says she and her husband were blindsided but the decision to strip him of his captaincy. 

Speaking on Mediaset sports review show Tiki Taka , she said: "Some say the armband is meaningless, but for Mauro it’s like taking away a leg more than an arm. He wears that jersey with such pride and if there were decisions to be made in the past about money or love of the shirt, he always chooses the shirt.

“I had no warning at all. I am always in contact with Inter, I have them on speed dial, but I only found out about the decision to revoke his captaincy on Twitter.

“I had a three-hour meeting with people very high up in the club and they never told me anything about it.

“Mauro scored 120 goals with this jersey and when nobody believed, he was the first to pick up the ball and call everyone forward, because he believes in this team. We are a family of Interisti, whether he is on the field or not."

While the relationship seems strained at best, Nara also says the club took care of her when a rock was reportedly thrown at her car, and downplayed tensions between the sides. 

“[Saturday] morning I woke up as usual and was driving with the kids to their training session and fortunately the incident occurred in an area where there are security cameras," she said. 

“I was in shock, I called someone at Inter and five minutes later [chief executive Beppe] Marotta called. They were very reassuring and helpful.”

Marotta, who has made it clear that naming a new captain was not discipline for Icardi and that negotiations over a new contract would continue, was also the first person from Inter to make contact when the decision was made. 

“He was very kind and I thank him, because Mauro was so upset," Nara said. "He was in terrible condition. When he’s upset, he clams up and tries to bottle things up, tries to be the strong one.

“I asked Moratti if he could please help get Mauro to play again, because it means so much to him. It is not our intention to leave Inter, not at all.”