Antonio Cassano gave a rare interview and shed tears on his dramatic year, missing out on the Scudetto and waving goodbye to so many Milan teammates.
FantAntonio’s career and even life were in the balance in late October when he suffered an ischemic stroke on the way back from a 3-2 win away to Roma, but has returned to the playing field five months after undergoing heart surgery.
“I like to help others and so I don’t really enjoy talking about myself,” confessed Cassano on Milan Channel.
“I felt good after the Roma game and was happy to be on the pitch, even if I’d only come off the bench. On the plane I caused absolute chaos and felt great.
“All of a sudden after stepping off the bus that transports you from the plane to the terminal, I felt really dizzy and couldn’t see out of my left eye. The doctor said he’d take me to hospital, but I didn’t want to and we argued about it for half an hour.
“When we finally decided, on the journey to the hospital I started having problems speaking. I could think clearly, but the words weren’t coming out. At that moment I thought about my son, to see him one more time...” said Cassano when fighting back tears.
“I was so pleased to receive so much affection from everyone, both in the football world and outside of it. They had understood I am crazy, but still honest and authentic.
“My son and my wife were the fundamental elements for me and I always asked the doctors to tell me the absolute truth. I am glad the medics were always very clear with me.
“I am not a believer in God, but before I used to take His name in vain a lot. Now, after the heart problem, I can’t seem to do it anymore, not even in thought. Maybe it’s destiny I came back to the field just before Easter.
“I feel good with everyone here, from the youngest kid to the most important star. I think Alexandre Pato is potentially the second best player in the world behind Leo Messi and hope his injuries can be over with so he can get back on top.
“When I had been at Milan for 10 days it felt like Paradise, but now it’s even better, as they treat you like a King. Those who leave Milan tend to immediately regret it.”
Those could include Gennaro Gattuso, Pippo Inzaghi and Alessandro Nesta, who have all confirmed they will not be renewing their contracts this summer.
“It’s very sad for me, as these lads are abandoning us and will regret it straight away. It’s true there are times in which everyone has to make choices, as Nesta explained yesterday. I believe that he could’ve still done well here by cutting down on the number of games, but it was his decision and a big loss to us. I’d like to talk him into changing his mind.
“As for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, when we’ve got the ball, it’s like we won’t let others into our playpen. We have two strange heads on our shoulders, but we get along and love to play together. Ibra does well to fire up Milan. He can do what he wants, as long as he scores!”
The Rossoneri missed out on the Scudetto and Cassano congratulated Juventus for their victory, but added there were reasons behind the defeat.
“We had a million injuries and without those probably would’ve been six or seven points clear. We are the strongest team in Italy, clearly in front of the rest. We haven’t been as consistent as Juve this season, but we start next term aiming to win everything.
“I only know how to talk about football, as I have no alternatives! I follow every League and that causes some rows with my wife, because I’d never stop watching football.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £11,000 to be won monthly!