Antonio Cassano

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Antonio Cassano
Antonio Cassano Euro 2012 vs England.jpg
Cassano playing for Italy at the UEFA Euro 2012
Personal information
Full name Antonio Cassano
Date of birth (1982-07-12) 12 July 1982 (age 31)
Place of birth Bari, Italy
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Second Striker
Club information
Current club Parma
Number 99
Youth career
1997–1998 Bari
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2001 Bari 48 (6)
2001–2006 Roma 118 (39)
2006–2008 Real Madrid 19 (2)
2007–2008 Sampdoria (loan) 22 (10)
2008–2011 Sampdoria 74 (25)
2011–2012 Milan 33 (7)
2012–2013 Internazionale 28 (8)
2013– Parma 27 (11)
National team
1998 Italy U15 9 (2)
1998 Italy U16 2 (0)
1999 Italy U18 2 (0)
2000 Italy U20 8 (2)
2000–2002 Italy U21 9 (3)
2003– Italy 35 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 January 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 November 2013

Antonio Cassano (Italian pronunciation: [anˈtɔnjo kasˈsano]; born 12 July 1982) is an Italian professional footballer who plays for Serie A club Parma as a forward. He can also play as an attacking midfielder. Nicknamed Il Gioiello di Bari Vecchia ("the jewel of Old Bari"), he is known for his short temper as much as his ability on the pitch, which led to the coining of the neologism Cassanata by his former coach, Fabio Capello, in November 2002. The word is regularly used by Italian journalists as a euphemism for any behavior incompatible with team spirit in football.[1] Cassano is described as a player who is "skillful and intelligent on the ball" who possesses "excellent vision and also impresses with his eye for goal". His best qualities are his trapping skills, dribbling and short passing accuracy.[2]

Club career

Bari

Cassano was born in Bari[3] and his father left the family shortly thereafter.[4] He was raised in the Bari Vecchia neighbourhood, and began playing football at an early age. Cassano was spotted by an A.S. Bari scout and brought up through the team's youth system, and he made his Serie A debut for Bari against local rivals U.S. Lecce in 1999.

Roma

At the age of 19, Cassano signed with reigning Serie A champions A.S. Roma, for a transfer fee of 60billion Italian lire (about 30 million).[5] His first season produced five goals, and he attracted media attention after openly clashing with coach Fabio Capello after he was left out of a practice match a few days after his international debut. In the 2003 Italian Cup final against A.C. Milan, Cassano was sent off after protesting an official's decision, and he flashed the sign of the horns at the referee while leaving the pitch.

He was omitted from the squad during Roma's tumultuous 2004–05 campaign while Luigi Delneri, Roma's third coach of the season (after Cesare Prandelli and Rudi Völler), was in charge. After Delneri himself resigned during the season, his replacement, Bruno Conti, returned Cassano to the starting lineup, with Cassano captaining the team in the absence of incumbent Francesco Totti, who was serving a five-match suspension.

During the 2005–06 preseason, Cassano was in constant conflict with club management over the renewal of his contract, which was due to expire on 30 June 2006.[6] In January 2006, he acrimoniously parted ways with Roma and signed with Real Madrid.[7] for just €5M.[8]

Real Madrid

Cassano became the second ever Italian player to sign for Real Madrid after former Roma teammate Christian Panucci. His début came on 18 January 2006, in a Spanish Cup match against Real Betis, and scored his first goal just three minutes after entering the match in the second half.[3] However, just four months into his tenure with the club, he began gaining weight due to poor eating habits, which resulted in Madrid fining him for every gram he remained over his playing weight.

On 30 October, Madrid's official website announced that Cassano had been suspended due to his “disrespect” of Capello, who had joined the club at the beginning of 2006–07 season, following a dressing room argument arising from his omission from the team after a game against Gimnàstic de Tarragona,[9] and was subsequently benched along with David Beckham and Ronaldo. In an interview with a Roman radio station, Cassano said he would "walk all the way back" to rejoin Roma, and indicated his eagerness to make peace with Totti, with whom Cassano had conflicted with before his departure from Roma. However, Cassano remained with Madrid after the January 2007 transfer window had closed, and the rest of his season was cut short by an ankle injury.

In an interview with Spanish radio in July 2007, Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón described Cassano's attitude as "unsustainable in the last couple of months" and indicated that he would be leaving the club.[10]

Sampdoria

On 13 August 2007, Sampdoria took Cassano on a one-year loan, agreeing to pay €1.2 million of his €4.2 million salary.[3] He was presented to approximately 2,500 fans five days later.[citation needed] In his first press conference, Cassano said that since his first-choice number 18 was already taken by teammate Vladimir Koman, he had instead chosen 99, because 9 plus 9 equals 18.

He made his Sampdoria début in the Derby della Lanterna against Genoa on 23 September, in which he was substituted by former Roma teammate Vincenzo Montella in the final minutes of the match. Cassano scored his first league goal upon his return against Atalanta a week later, in a 3–0 victory. He scored in three consecutive games in January, and helped end league leaders Inter Milan's winning league run with a goal in a 1–1 draw. However, Cassano was sent off in a 2–2 draw with Torino FC on 2 March 2008, which he compounded by hurling his shirt at the referee as he left the pitch,[11] and was punished with a five-match ban. Sampdoria ended the season with a UEFA Cup berth, while Cassano was acquired on a permanent basis by the club on free transfer (plus bonus) from Madrid.[12]

Cassano as Sampdoria captain

In his second season, Cassano confirmed to have temperamentally improved, also becoming vice-captain for the team behind Angelo Palombo. After the January signing of Giampaolo Pazzini from ACF Fiorentina, Cassano managed to form a fruitful striking partnership with the former viola forward, that was praised by both media and Sampdoria supporters, and led club chairman Riccardo Garrone to compare it with striking duo of Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini that led Sampdoria to win their only scudetto to date,[13] an opinion that was later shared also by both Vialli and Mancini.[14][15]

His third season with Sampdoria again began very well for Cassano, who affirmed himself as a valid assist-man for Pazzini, and being instrumental in the club's impressive seasonal start, that led them up to first place after a 1–0 home win to Inter. However, a result crisis, including a 3–0 defeat in the local derby against crosstown rivals Genoa, left Sampdoria down to mid-table on January, leading head coach Luigi Delneri to put Cassano off the team for "technical and tactical reasons", casting doubts about the player's future at the club.

In the final days of the transfer window, he was linked with a move on loan to Fiorentina, that was however denied with an official statement from the club,[16] but was described by the media as Cassano's own refusal to leave Sampdoria.[17] This was confirmed by Cassano himself through an official statement published on Sampdoria's website, citing his relationship with club chairman Riccardo Garrone, his teammates and the team supporters as the main reason for his choice.[18]

On October 2010 Cassano was excluded from the first team squad with immediate effect after he had a heated row with chairman Riccardo Garrone following the player's refusal to attend an award ceremony.[19] Following such events, Sampdoria formally applied for a contract termination to a league arbitration panel, a position that was confirmed even after Cassano apologised to Garrone and the club.[20] On 16 December, the arbitration panel ordered Sampdoria to reinclude Cassano into the first team from 1 January 2011, rejecting the blucerchiati's request for a contract termination, but also concluding Cassano will be paid only 50% of his salary for the remainder of his contract.[21]

Milan

On 20 December 2010, it was reported that A.C. Milan, Sampdoria and the player agreed the installment plan to pay a €5 million to Real Madrid which was indicated in Cassano's buy-out clause when he left the Spanish club. Eventually Sampdoria paid €5 million to Real Madrid;[22] Milan paid €3.33 million to Sampdoria,[22] while Cassano had a wage cut with Milan. Cassano then signed a three-and-a-half year contract with Milan,[23] which was later confirmed by Milan's owner Silvio Berlusconi.[24] He made his debut for his new club in a 1–0 win against Cagliari Calcio where he came on as a substitute for Alexander Merkel in the latter stages of the game. He scored his first goal for Milan in a 4–0 win against Parma. He went on to score three more goals that season, two against former clubs Bari and Sampdoria and the other one a penalty against fierce rivals Internazionale.

He never really claimed a spot in the starting XI and was behind Zlatan Ibrahimović, Alexandre Pato and Robinho in the Milan pecking order and due to his wish to keep his spot in the Italian national side, a lot of speculation formed over his future with links to other clubs. However, he stayed with Milan, and after a good pre-season, scored in the first Serie A game of 2011–12 against S.S. Lazio.

Internazionale

After reportedly being upset over the sale of Milan's key players, particularly Zlatan Ibrahimović and Thiago Silva, Cassano requested a transfer.[25] On 21 August 2012, A.C. Milan and Internazionale reached an agreement over an exchange deal involving Giampaolo Pazzini and Cassano, with a compensatory sum of about €7 million in favor of the Nerazzurri.[26] He officially joined the team the next day.[27]

Parma

After only one season at Inter, Cassano joined Parma on 4 July 2013 for an undisclosed fee. He will continue to wear the no. 99 shirt.[28]

International career

Cassano with the Italian team

Cassano made his debut for the Italian senior team on 12 November 2003, aged 21, in friendly match against Poland in which he scored his first goal.

He was part of Italy's UEFA Euro 2004 squad as a reserve, but after Totti was suspended following a spitting incident with Christian Poulsen in a group match against Denmark, Cassano was inserted into the starting lineup for a 1–1 draw with Sweden in which he scored. He also netted a last-minute winner in a 2–1 victory over Bulgaria, but Italy were eliminated in the group stage on goal difference.

Cassano was left off the final roster for the 2006 World Cup.

In September 2006 he but was called up for two Euro 2008 qualifying. Finally he was included in the UEFA Euro 2008 roster, and went scoreless in the tournament as Italy were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Spain after a penalty shootout.

Cassano (left) at UEFA Euro 2012.

After a two-year absence from the Azzurri team, and following widespread criticism from the media towards Marcello Lippi about his exclusion from the 2010 World Cup squad, Cassano was readmitted into the Italian team on 6 August 2010 by new head coach Cesare Prandelli for his first game in charge of the team, a friendly match against Côte d'Ivoire played on 10 August at Upton Park, London.[29] Almost a month later, in Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier played in Estonia Cassano scored the tying goal in a 1–2 away victory and also assisted Leonardo Bonucci's second goal with a back-heel. Cassano scored a long-range goal from just outside the box in Italy's 5–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier win over the Faroe Islands. He scored again against Estonia helping Italy secure a 3–0 win.

He played 6 matches and scored one goal against Ireland during UEFA Euro 2012, where the Italian team achieved the final then lost 4–0 against Spain. In July 2012 he was fined by UEFA for making a homophobic comment at a press conference during UEFA Euro 2012. At the conference, when asked if he thought there were any homosexual players in the Italian team, he replied "I hope there are none". He later issued a statement saying he had been misinterpreted.[30]

Personal life

Cassano got engaged to water polo player Carolina Marcialis in 2008, then married on 19 June 2010 at a church, Chiesa di San Martino, in Portofino.[31] Cassano's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Christopher, born on 14 March 2011.[32] [33] On 18 March 2013, Cassano became a father for the second time to a son he named Lionel in homage to Lionel Messi.[34]

On 30 October 2011 it was reported that Cassano complained of finding it difficult to speak or move when the team returned to Milan.[35] On 2 November 2011 A.C. Milan announced and confirmed that Antonio Cassano was suffering from ischemic-based cerebral damage, though it should be temporary.[36] Cassano underwent minor heart surgery soon after.[35] He returned to action in the Serie A on 25 April 2012, even scoring in a fixture against Genoa.

During Euro 2012, Cassano stated his preference for there to be no gay players on the squad and used a derogatory descriptor.[37]

On Friday 1 February 2013 Cassano had a locker room brawl with his coach at Inter, Andrea Stramaccioni. It occurred following Friday's training session and had started off as a relatively normal discussion before the pair got into a heated slanging match, then degenerated into pushing and shoving before the other players intervened to pull them apart.[38]

Cassano is an Atheist, in an interview he said despite the fact he dd not believe in God he still felt blessed to be part of Italy's squad at Euro 2012. [39]

Sponsorship

Cassano is a brand ambassador for Diadora, currently wearing their Evoluzione K Pro GX 14 football boot in Black/Fluorescent Yellow[40]

Club statistics

Reference: La Gazzetta dello Sport

As of 9 November 2012.
Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Bari 1999–2000 21 3 0 - - - - - - 21 3 0
2000–01 27 3 2 2 0 0 - - - 29 3 2
Total 48 6 2 2 0 0 - - - 50 6 2
Roma 2001–02 22 5 0 3 1 0 5 0 0 30 6 0
2002–03 27 9 2 5 1 0 11 4 1 43 14 3
2003–04 33 14 4 - - - 6 4 0 39 18 4
2004–05 31 9 1 8 1 0 3 1 0 42 11 1
2005–06 5 2 1 - - - 2 1 1 7 3 2
Total 118 39 8 16 3 0 27 10 2 161 52 10
Real Madrid 2005–06 12 1 1 4 1 0 1 0 0 17 2 1
2006–07 7 1 2 1 1 0 4 0 0 12 2 2
Total 19 2 3 5 2 0 5 0 0 29 4 3
Sampdoria 2007–08 22 10 6 2 0 0 1 0 0 25 10 6
2008–09 35 12 15 4 1 0 6 2 3 45 15 18
2009–10 32 9 10 1 2 0 - - - 33 11 10
2010–11 7 4 2 - - - 3 1 2 10 5 4
Total 96 35 33 7 3 0 12 3 5 115 41 38
Milan 2010–11 17 4 6 4 0 0 - - - 21 4 6
2011–12 16 3 10 0 0 0 3 1 0 19 4 10
Total 33 7 16 4 0 0 3 1 0 40 8 16
Internazionale 2012–13 11 5 4 0 0 0 3 0 1 14 5 5
Total 11 5 4 0 0 0 3 0 1 14 5 5
Career total 326 94 66 34 8 0 50 14 8 410 116 74

National team

[41]

Italy national team
Year Apps Goals
2003 2 1
2004 4 2
2005 2 0
2006 2 0
2007 - -
2008 5 0
2009 - -
2010 5 2
2011 8 4
2012 7 1
Total 35 10

International goals

Scores list Italy's tally first.[42]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 12 November 2003 Warsaw, Poland  Poland 3–1 Lost Friendly
2 18 June 2004 Lisbon, Portugal  Sweden 1–1 Draw UEFA Euro 2004
3 22 June 2004 Guimarães, Portugal  Bulgaria 2–1 Win UEFA Euro 2004
4 3 September 2010 Tallinn, Estonia  Estonia 1–2 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
5 7 September 2010 Florence, Italy  Faroe Islands 5–0 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
6 3 June 2011 Modena, Italy  Estonia 3–0 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
7 2 September 2011 Tórshavn, Faroe Islands  Faroe Islands 1–0 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
8 11 October 2011 Pescara, Italy  Northern Ireland 3–0 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
9 11 October 2011 Pescara, Italy  Northern Ireland 3–0 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
10 18 June 2012 Gdańsk, Poland  Republic of Ireland 2–0 Win UEFA Euro 2012

Honours

Individual

References

  1. ^ "Antonio il terribile (Antonio the terrible)" (in Italian). Gazzetta dello Sport. 1 January 2006. Retrieved 30 July 2007. 
  2. ^ "Player Profile". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Sampdoria complete Cassano swoop". UEFA.com. 14 August 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Antonio Cassano". sportspundit.com. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "RELAZIIONE SEMESTRALE AL 31 DIICEMBRE 2000". AS Roma (in Italian) (Borsa Italiana Archive). Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  6. ^ Training accident keeps Cassano out; UEFA.com 14 October 2005
  7. ^ "Madrid unveil Cassano". UEFA.com. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  8. ^ http://bo.asroma.it/UserFiles/755.pdf
  9. ^ Cassano cast out at Madrid; UEFA.com, 30 October 2006
  10. ^ ""Después de este primer año en la presidencia, mantengo la ilusión del primer día" ("After this first year as president, i have the illusion of the first day")" (in Spanish). Real Madrid CF. 3 July 2007. Archived from the original on 15 July 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2007. 
  11. ^ Cassano red card, 3/2/08; YouTube
  12. ^ "Ufficiale: Antonio Cassano è tutto della Sampdoria". UC Sampdoria (in Italian). 30 May 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Garrone: "Cassano e Pazzini come Mancini e Vialli" (Garrone: "Cassano and Pazzini like Mancini and Vialli"" (in Italian). SampdoriaNews. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2009. 
  14. ^ "Sampdoria legend Vialli big fan of Cassano, Pazzini". tribalfootball.com. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2009. 
  15. ^ "Mancini: "Pazzini e Cassano come me e Vialli? Ci può stare" (Mancini: "Pazzini and Cassano like me and Vialli? It can be"" (in Italian). TuttoMercatoWeb. 28 March 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2009. 
  16. ^ "Comunicato Stampa: nota ufficiale società" (in Italian). UC Sampdoria. 31 January 2010. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  17. ^ "Cassano niente Fiorentina, resta alla Sampdoria" (in Italian). Corriere dello Sport – Stadio. 31 January 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Parla Antonio: "Ecco perché resto alla Sampdoria"" (in Italian). UC Sampdoria. 31 January 2010. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  19. ^ "Cassano set for Samp exit after president row?". ESPN Soccernet. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  20. ^ "Sampdoria wait for review of Cassano case". ESPN Soccernet. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  21. ^ "Cassano dispute resolved". SKY Sport. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  22. ^ a b Relazione sulla Gestione of UC Sampdoria Report and Accounts on 31 December 2010
  23. ^ Laudisa, Carlo (20 December 2010). "Cassano at Milan until 2014; He goes to team training camp on the 27th". La Gazzeta dello Sport. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  24. ^ "Milan confirm Cassano capture". Sky Sports. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  25. ^ "Official: Inter and AC Milan finalize Cassano-Pazzini swap". 22 August 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  26. ^ "AC Milan and Inter agree terms over Pazzini-Cassano swap". 21 August 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  27. ^ "Transfers: Antonio Cassano signs for Inter". 22 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  28. ^ http://www.goal.com/en/news/11/transfer-zone/2013/07/03/4092132/cassano-leaves-inter-for-parma
  29. ^ "Italy turn to Balotelli, Cassano". FIFA.com. 6 August 2010. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  30. ^ "Antonio Cassano fined for Euro 2012 homosexual remark". BBC. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  31. ^ "Cassano si è sposato (Cassano has been married)" (in Italian). Corriere dello Sport. 19 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  32. ^ "In casa Cassano il fiocco è azzurro" (in Italian). Corriere del Mezzogiorno. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  33. ^ {{cite web|url=http://images.tsn.ca/images/gallery//533/3_20120628060000.jpg |title=Cassano and son after Italy won against Germany. 28 June 2012. |publisher=?|language=English|accessdate=29 June 2012|date=29 June 2012}}
  34. ^ "Antonio Cassano has second son, names him Lionel to honour Messi". inside World Soccer. 19 March 2013. 
  35. ^ a b "Milan's Cassano has heart surgery". BBC News. 4 November 2011. 
  36. ^ Milan's Cassano out for months, to have surgery. Rediff.com. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  37. ^ [1]. [SportsIllustrated.com]. 12 June 2012.
  38. ^ Staff, Football Italia. "Strama-Cassano in locker room brawl!". Football Italia. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  39. ^ "Euro 2012: Italy's Antonio Cassano Confused Over Religion". The Spoof. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  40. ^ "Cassano in the Diadora Evoluzione K Pro GX 14". FootballBoots.co.uk. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  41. ^ "Antonio Cassano – Goals in International Matches". National Football Teams. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  42. ^ "Antonio Cassano – Goals in International Matches". Retrieved 12 October 2011. 

External links