Those who saw him take his first steps in Italian football pointed him out as one of those cracks that appeared to sit at the table of the greats along with Diego Armando Maradona, Pelé, Johan Cruyff and Alfredo Di Stéfano. His physical and technical conditions were majestic, but his discipline off the field undermined his chances of playing soccer. The story of Antonio Cassano She is worthy of a book (she released her autobiography) and one of her former colleagues revealed some pearls that paint the character.
“I did not see Messi do the things that Antonio Cassano did. One day in training I saw him throw a cue stick. The ball was going to the side, it was running against and with the stick it threw the center. It was incredible. I explain them today and I still have a hard time understanding how he did it. If he had been more professional he would have been one of the best in the world without any doubt ”, is one of the anecdotes of Leandro Cufré, who lived with him in Rome, in dialogue with Hitch (Radio Club 947).
Cassano, from humble roots, debuted at Bari and quickly jumped to Roma. Then he was transferred to Real Madrid, where he played for a season, and returned to Italian football to defend the colors of Sampdoria (two cycles), Milan, Inter, Parma and Hellas Verona. He won four national titles throughout his career and was considered the best junior in Serie A in 2001 and 2003. He also wore the shirt of the Italian team, with which he integrated the rosters in the Euro Cups of 2004, 2008 and 2012 more the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Bambino He was well remembered for his conflicts with coaches and teammates. “He didn’t have the head of a great soccer professional, he thought that with little training he would achieve everything. The talent had it, but if you don’t take care of yourself a little, your time will take its toll. At 30 he was a former player and that hurts you because you had a huge heart, “added the former Argentine defender.
Some time ago he revealed that during his stay in Madrid (he had signed a six-year contract but remained only 18 months) he took a private flight every Friday to return to Rome: “He ate like a dog and did not sleep. I lived a shitty life ”. His sloppy personal schedule led to a stroke in 2011 when he played for Milan.
However, Cufré recalled another episode of the former striker in Roma that shows his generosity: “There was a retired physiotherapist from the club who was no longer working but was permanently in the locker room. He was having a bad time because his car had hit him and he had everything ramshackle. One day he arrived at training and his parking lot was occupied by a car covered with a cover. He began to complain and ask who had taken the place from him until Antonio discovered the new car he had given him. They are things that only he did with a huge heart. ”
The stability provided by his marriage and coexistence with his wife Carolina, with whom he had two children, straightened his course in the final stretch of his career. Today, retired, he made noise for some media junction with Wanda Nara by Mauro Icardi during the debate on an Italian sports program. As well as by his criticism of Paulo Dybala, who completely distanced himself from the comparison with Lionel Messi (he has a devotion for the Flea and named his second son Lionel for the Barcelona star). In the future, he dreams of being a sports director and headhunter.