- Italian Antonio Cassano has said he is ready to make his comeback as a player
- The 35-year-old already backtracked on his retirement twice last summer
- The striker retired, then signed for Verona, then decided to retire again
- He also hinted at a move to Genoa or Serie B side Virtus Entella in July last year
Italian icon Antonio Cassano has said he is ready to make his comeback as a player.
Cassano, who backtracked twice on his retirement last summer, insists he has not finished playing and can bring something to the game.
‘I am not a former player, as I am still active and ready to come back if I find a project that interests me,’ he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Italian icon Antonio Cassano has said he is ready to make his comeback as a player
The striker retired, then signed for Hellas Verona, and then retired again last summer
Cassano hardly featured last season for Sampdoria following a series of issues with the club
ANTONIO CASSANO CAREER
Years, Team, Apps (Gls)
1999–2001: Bari 50 (6)
2001–2006: Roma 161 (52)
2006–2008: Real Madrid 29 (4)
2007–2008: Sampdoria (loan) 25 (10)
2008–2011: Sampdoria 88 (32)
2011–2012: Milan 40 (8)
2012–2013: Inter Milan 39 (9)
2013–2015: Parma 56 (18)
2015–2017: Sampdoria 140 (43)
2017: Verona 0 (0)
‘I am convinced that I can win this final battle. I never had a serious injury in my career and can still give a great deal to football.
‘I’m ready and weigh 85kg, just like when I was at Sampdoria.’
The retirement of the former Italy international has become something of a saga, with Cassano announcing his decision to call time on his playing days last summer- before putting pen to paper on a deal with Verona.
But the 35-year-old then decided his decision had been a wrong one and swiftly back-tracked, retiring once more and citing missing his family as the reason behind his decision.
After his signing and then immediate exit from Verona, club president Maurizio Setti gave his view that the player’s head is not in the right place.
‘This guy’s head isn’t right, even though he’s very good physically and athletically. He’ll leave,’ he told ANSA.
‘Professionally, you can’t accuse him of doing anything wrong. Evidently, he can’t remain serene and clearheaded in a group and wants to stay at home.
In his career Cassano experienced huge highs with Roma, but dramatic lows with Real Madrid
‘There’s an up and a down with him, he talks and then he’s silent. It’s a shame because he was doing everything well in a professional sense.’
He also hinted at a return in July 2017 suggesting he could join Genoa or Serie B side Virtus Entella.
In what has been a long and storied career, Cassano has turned out for some of European football’s most prestigious clubs.
A giant of Italy in his own right, Cassano has featured for both sides of Milan, along with Roma – where he was at his most prolific and made his name – and also Parma.
In 2006 Cassano’s stock rose to such a level that Spanish giants Real Madrid came in for his services, taking him to the Bernabeu on a long-term deal.
But the move to become the latest Galactico didn’t work out for the Italian, who scored just four goals in 29 appearances and since reflected upon the switch as one of his worst professional decisions.