We’ve definitely been here before, but Antonio Cassano has confirmed his retirement from professional football, effective as of the weekend.
As you may recall, the 36-year-old retired several times last year too, including one announcement that came just eight days after signing for Hellas Verona.
The former Roma, Sampdoria and Inter Milan forward had been training with Virtus Entella, the “ghost club” currently floating outside of the Italian league system somewhere between Serie B and C, but called it quits after a week.
In an interview given to Gazzetta dello Sport, Cassano bowed out by offering a withering ‘State of the Union-style’ assessment of the modern game.
First, we offer you the overly literal Auto-Translate version of the quote:
Whole life was better in 1999. Now [the players] are all duffers. A mass of blowjobs.
Remove Juventus in Serie A and Higuain playing in Milan, find me a champion.
Google translating “schiappe” to “duffers” is the energy we need this drizzly Monday morning.
This revised attempt is a little closer to the crux:
Football was better in 1999. Now the players are incompetent. They all suck.
Take Juventus out of Serie A and Gonzalo Higuain out of in Milan, then find me a champion.
Cassano went on to name Fabio Capello as the best manager ever, Andrea Stramaccioni as the worst (the pair were constantly at each other’s throats at Inter Milan), and Francesco Totti, Roberto Baggio and Paolo Maldini as the ‘strongest’ players he admires.
He also singled out AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani as the “strongest CEO of the last 30 years in Serie A”, which is some accolade.
So, with that it’s arrivederci to Fantantonio… at least for the time being anyway.
A proper one-off, for better or worse.