Saturday October 13 2018
Cassano: 'This time it's really over'

Antonio Cassano has announced his retirement from football, just days after starting training with Virtus Entella.

This is the second time that FantAntonio has come out of retirement, joined a new club and then abandoned it within two weeks, as he did the same at Hellas Verona.

“Dear friends,” read Cassano’s statement released via reporter Pierluigi Pardo.

“The day has come, the day when you decide it really is over. I thank President Gozzi and the Entella lads for the opportunity they allowed me. I wish them all the best.

“However, over the last few days of training, I realised that I no longer have the mentality to train consistently. In order to play football, you need passion and talent, but above all determination and at this moment I have other priorities.

“I want to thank all the friends and teammates I worked with over the years, the opponents, the Coaches and directors (yes, even those I had arguments with).

“Above all, I want to salute the fans, those on my side and in opposition, because without them football would not exist.

“Football has given me so much. It allowed me to meet magnificent people, great champions and common folk. It took me off the street, gave me a marvellous family and above all allowed me to have so much fun.

“Still today, whenever I watch a game, I remain hypnotised. It’s the best sport in the world. Yes, I know, if I’d had another personality I could’ve won more and played better, but believe me, I nonetheless experienced incredible emotions and today have the only things that really matter. My family, friends and zero regrets.

“Now the second half of my life begins, I am curious and fired up to prove first of all to myself that I can do good things even without the help of my feet.

“Thank you to everyone, from the heart.

“Antonio Cassano.”

Unlike the Hellas Verona situation in the summer of 2017, Cassano had not signed for Virtus Entella, but was merely training with them on a trial run.

He is now 36 years old and his last competitive match was for Sampdoria in May 2016.

Cassano retires after a career at Bari, Roma, Real Madrid, Milan, Inter, Parma and Sampdoria.

FantAntonio scored 139 goals and provided 91 assists in 515 competitive games at all level, with 10 goals in 39 senior caps for Italy.