Antonio Cassano has revealed that in the moment he discovered that he needed heart surgery, playing football was farthest from his mind.
In an interview with Striscia la Notizia after receiving the year’s Tapiro d’Oro award - a mock award given out by the television programme - Cassano reflected on having to undergo surgery for a congenital heart problem in late October and his subsequent, ongoing recovery.
“It was unexpected, but the important thing was to live. I have to wait six months to play again. Meanwhile, I walk, walk, walk. With all the kilometres that I’m doing I’ll be arriving in Bari.”
Since joining the Rossoneri in January 2011, Cassano has struck up a friendship with fellow striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“He is one of my best friends, even though he puts pressure on me to return. I have a great relationship with him and with everyone at Milan.
“It is strange that I have a beautiful relationship with everyone, but it’s true.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £5,000 monthly.