Inter coach Luciano Spalletti let his fury run loose following a 1-0 loss at home to Lazio on Sunday that could be costly for the Nerazzurris chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
Spalletti explained why he kept Icardi off Inters squad for the match, even though the striker had resumed training with the club over the international break — which followed a six-week exile after being stripped of the captaincy amid protracted contract negotiations.
“He could have played 20-30 minutes, even half a game, but thats not the point,” Spalletti said. “Those who are in the locker room need to play. You need to have credibility in a group. … Ive left players out for far less in my time. You must have respect and behave in the locker room.”
Spalletti added that it was “humiliating” for Inters fans that it required negotiations with Icardis lawyer “just to get him to pull on the shirt that they love.”
“Do I need to email 20 lawyers and ask them if I can call someone up?” Spalletti said.
Icardi last played for Inter on Feb. 9 in a 1-0 win at Parma. After he was stripped of the captaincy four days later, the 26-year-old Icardi had said he had a knee injury, although the club has said tests did not reveal any problem.
“Its obvious for everyone to see what happened,” Spalletti said.
Inter remained third but is only two points ahead of city rival AC Milan, and five points ahead of rising Lazio (which has a game in hand) and Atalanta.
It remains to be seen if Icardi will return for Wednesdays match at Genoa.
“If he continues to behave the way he has done recently, then he can start to come back in,” Spalletti said.
Wanda Nara, Icardis wife and manager, said her husband “is ready and its all down to the decision of the coach.”
Retired Roma captain Francesco Totti could be about to take on a greater role within the clubs management.
Totti has been a special ambassador for Roma since he stopped playing in 2017 following a 25-season career with his hometown club.
But with the recent departure of sporting director Ramon “Monchi” Rodriguez, Totti has been mentioned as a possible replacement.
“Everyone is talking about the possibility of a different role. Well see what happens in the future,” Totti said. “I can tell you that if I were to take on a new position, I would change some things. Ive already spoken to the club about it, but this isnt the right time to discuss it.”
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