Monday July 24 2017
Cassano’s top five meltdowns

Antonio Cassano today announced he would be leaving Verona - less than a week after he stated he would retire, only to change his mind just hours later.

Having called a Press conference, where he was expected to call time on his career, the forward instead revealed he’d continue playing for Verona.

While the U-turn came as a shock, FantAntonio is well-known for his volatile character and decided to abandon the Serie A new boys anyway, just six days later.

A name was even coined by Fabio Capello for his frequent tantrums - “cassanate”. The Coach should know, having worked with Cassano at Roma and Real Madrid - and having punched him!

Here, we’ve compiled the former Italy international’s most famous meltdowns…

March 2001 - Storms out of international duty

Claudio Gentile was one of the first Coaches to be on the end of Cassano’s famous temper.

The forward was left on the bench for a game against Romania by the Under-21 CT, and subsequently went AWOL from the squad.

May 31, 2003 - Coppa Italia red card

Roma had lost the first leg of the Coppa Italia final with Milan 4-1, but were 2-1 up at San Siro in the return.

However, 24 minutes into the second half, Cassano was on the end of a rough challenge from Martin Laursen, which went unpunished by referee Roberto Rosetti.

Cassano reacted furiously, screaming in the official’s face and unsurprisingly being shown a red card.

As he left the pitch, Cassano made a horns gesture at Rosetti - an offensive gesture in Italy which implies cuckoldry.

March 2, 2008 - Threatens a referee

After a spell with Real Madrid - during which Cassano claims to have eaten three or four pastries after sex every night - the Bari boy was given a chance to resurrect his career with Sampdoria.

He formed a deadly partnership with Giampaolo Pazzini, firing the Blucerchiati into Europe.

In 2008 though, he received a five-game ban for an extraordinary on-pitch meltdown against Torino.

Having been shown a red card by referee Nicola Pierpaoli, Cassano lost his head, taking his shirt off and throwing it at the official and having to be restrained by his teammates.

After seemingly bursting into tears on the sideline, Cassano was then seen standing in the tunnel, warning Pierpaoli that he’d be waiting for him after the match.

October 2010 - Row with Garrone

After three successful seasons in Genoa, it appeared Cassano had finally settled down, but things blew up in extraordinary fashion after he refused to attend an award ceremony.

The striker hurled a string of vicious insults at President Riccardo Garrone, and despite an apology the club applied to the Lega Serie A to rip up his contract.

That request was denied, but Cassano joined Milan in January.

While he and Garrone made peace before the latter’s death in 2013, Cassano has named this incident as the biggest regret of his life.

March 2013 - Fight with Stramaccioni

After winning the Scudetto with Milan, Cassano moved on to city rivals Inter for the 2012-13 season.

It was be his only year with the Nerazzurri however, after coming to blows with Coach Andrea Stramaccioni in March 2013.

The pair had to be physically separated by teammates, and while Cassano admitted he was in the wrong, he was moved on to Parma that summer.

Dishonourable mentions:

Sent off for repeatedly insulting the referee in Udinese-Roma - February 2003
Unflattering impression of Capello at Real Madrid - December 2006
Cries after being booked, earning a suspension for the Roma-Sampdoria - December 2007
Sacked by Sampdoria (again) - May 2016 (released in February 2017)