Football's Most Surreal Love Triangle Just Reached Soap Opera Level

The twisted tale of love and deceit between Argentine footballers Mauro Icardi and Maxi Lopez took another soap opera-style twist on Sunday when their respective club sides met in an Italian Serie A match.

Icardi, 23, is the striker for Inter Milan while Lopez, 32, plays the same role for Torino. The bad blood between the two came to a head following Lopez’s messy divorce with 29-year-old Argentine media personality Wanda Nara in 2013.

Football’s Most Surreal Love Triangle Just Reached Soap Opera Level

Icardi, Nara and Lopez during happier times. Photo: @TransfersCalcio | Twitter

The pair were married from 2008 to 2013 and had three children together before Nara alleged Lopez of infidelity. However, it soon became exposed that Nara was actually forming a relationship with Lopez’s former Sampdoria teammate and friend Mauro Icardi.

Divorce proceedings began in December 2013, and Nara and Icardi were subsequently married in May of 2014, only five months later.

Football’s Most Surreal Love Triangle Just Reached Soap Opera Level

The pair were quick to profess their love for one another over social media. Photo: @MirrorFootball | Twitter

The two faced off on the football pitch for the first time in April of 2014. The match was dubbed the “Wanda derby” and was notable for Lopez refusing to shake Icardi’s hand before the match.

In June of that year, their relationship took another turn for the worse. Icardi, a highly active and visible user of social media, published a picture of his latest tattoo bearing the names Valentino, Constantino and Benedicto along with the caption: “I love these three little angels”.

These are the names of the three children that Nara and Lopez had while they were still together. Lopez was understandably unimpressed. “I can understand that, being a public figure, he publishes photos,” said Lopez. “But I’m not comfortable with my kids being in those photos. The kids are my strength…and they know I will do everything to protect them because they mean everything to me.”


On Sunday, the pair squared off again and, for the second time, Lopez refused to shake the hand of the man who is now married to his ex-wife. This time, Lopez added the extra caveat of grabbing his crotch after refusing to shake hands with Icardi, clearly showing what he thinks of his national compatriot.  

Icardi was unhappy with Lopez’s actions, particularly with Nara and her four children watching - the three from Lopez and one from Icardi in 2015. 

“Unfortunately, these things happen, it depends on the ignorance of certain people,” said Icardi. “I gave my hand, I am polite.”

Icardi scored the lone goal for Inter, a 17th minute penalty, but Torino ultimately triumphed 2-1 in the “Wanda derby”. 

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