Saturday March 22 2014
Cassano: I accept Prandelli’s challenge

Antonio Cassano says he is ‘ready to do anything to go to Brazil’, as he accepts and is grateful for Cesare Prandelli’s challenge.

The Italy Coach has made clear that the Parma forward is in consideration for a place in his World Cup squad and that any decision made will be purely technical.

“Yes I heard what Prandelli said and I was very pleased. I have to thank him. I understand that the challenge is beautiful and open,” Cassano has responded today in the Corriere dello Sport.

“I am very happy because what will determine it is what happens in the field. And from that point of view I would say that I will give my all.

“It is a challenge that will allow me to start over in some ways, but also to conclude. I am a player who has had too much and on occasion thrown it away. I’ve always been one to do that.

“Now I have to think less about what was and more about the present. The present is what I want, the World Cup.

“Have I considered going? Sometimes I think about it. Often we talk. Of course in Brazil they enjoy certain things like their football. To get to the World Cup would be a success.

“Perhaps I could be decisive, to be appreciated there, it would be something I could keep with me for quite a while.”

Cassano was asked about his previous omission from the national team since Euro 2012, which Prandelli has explained as being down to his age not fitting in with the Azzurri’s long-term project.

“I say nothing. And I understand also the meaning of the exclusion since. When at 30, you can say: ‘look, we have this project, we want to look at those who are not 30’.

“And it is normal that after the European Championships they have thought to others.

“But there are those who are a little over 30 who can return to being useful. Everything now depends on me.

“I’m ready to do anything to go to Brazil. I thank Prandelli for the opportunity he gives me, I accept the challenge, and will not even eat.

“Am I like Roberto Baggio in 1998? He had a super season with Bologna and went to France. If I am playing well then it is because of Parma. With Roberto Donadoni there is a lot of respect, he is one that does not go around looking for friends.”

The forward is being linked with a possible move to Napoli in the summer.

“Napoli? I have two more years on my contract, I really want to finish my career at Parma.”

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