Forget Messi & Ronaldo: Mauro Icardi is leading the way for struggling Inter

The Argentine has been involved in all but six of the Nerazzurri’s goals so far this season, despite attracting criticism from fans and even calls to hand in the armband

Inter may have staggered from one crisis to another at the start of the 2016-17 campaign, but at least they can rely on their captain Mauro Icardi to deliver the goods. 

Not only has the Argentine had to contend with an underachieving club, but he has also attracted criticism with comments made about the Inter ultras that led to some calling for his removal as skipper. 

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And yet, 14 matches into the Serie A season, Icardi outranks the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann as Europe’s most prolific striker. 

Icardi’s first-half goal to put the Nerazzurri 3-1 up against Fiorentina on Monday was his 11th of the league season. He scored his 12th late into the tie to secure a 4-2 win for his side.

Those goals, coupled with a further four assists, mean he has contributed directly to 16 strikes this campaign, more than any other player in Europe’s top-five leagues. 

16 – @MauroIcardi ha participado en 16 goles (12 goles 4 asist.), más que cualquier jugador en el Top 5 de ligas europeas en 2016/17. Brillo
— OptaJavier (@OptaJavier) 28 de noviembre de 2016

Inter as a whole have hit the net 22 times, with Icardi scoring more than half their overall total and participating in all but six of the goals. 

The club’s breathtaking start against Fiorentina helped erase memories of Thursday’s disastrous Europa League elimination. 

3- Inter scored 3 goals in the first 19 minutes in a Serie A match for the 1st time since January 1990 (Matthäus-Klinsmann vs Bologna). Epic

— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) 28 de noviembre de 2016

It also set a new milestone for the team, as their best start to a match in no less than 26 years.