Tuesday May 15 2012
Cassano: 'I wanted to quit'

Antonio Cassano reveals how it felt to make his comeback after heart surgery and how he “wanted to quit” after seeing two sportsmen die during games.

The Milan and Italy star suffered an ischemic stroke on the way back from a 3-2 win at Roma on October 28 and underwent heart surgery a few days later to fix a congenital problem.

“After the operation there was optimism, but when I saw athletes like Bovolenta and Morosini suddenly die during games, I wanted to quit,” he told Chi magazine.

Olympic medal winning volleyball player Vigor Bovolenta collapsed and died during a match on March 24, aged 37.

Piermario Morosini suffered the same fate during Livorno’s Serie B game at Pescara on April 14, aged 25.

“I seemed in shock, incapable of making any autonomous decisions. My wife was so worried, as I just sat on the couch and stared at the wall. I wanted to finish with football.

“I’d say: ‘I’m done here. I’m gambling with my life.’ But when the medics told me I could go back to playing again, I cried.

“I can never forget the moment I returned to the field. Milan-Fiorentina, the Coach Massimiliano Allegri told me to ‘get ready.’

“My legs were trembling as never before, not even when I made my Serie A debut. I was coming back to life and felt like the happiest man in the world.”

Cesare Prandelli always stated he’d wait to the last second for Cassano to recover in time for Euro 2012 and the forward began training yesterday.

“Prandelli always put his faith in me and never let me go. Now the Euros are coming up and I am ready. We hope to do well.”