Ex-Italy forward Cassano retires for third time – seven days after his return

Antonio Cassano was capped 39 times by Italy. Net photo.

Former Italy forward Antonio Cassano’s latest return to football has lasted just seven days.

The 36-year-old has announced he is retiring from football for the third time, just a week after he started training with Serie C side Virtus Entella.

“The day has come, the day when you decide it really is over,” said Cassano, who played for major European clubs including Real Madrid, Roma and both Milan teams.

“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.”

Cassano first announced he was retiring just eight days after signing for Hellas Verona in July 2017.

But within hours he had a change of heart and said he would stay, adding he wanted to “rise to the challenge” and have a “crazy season”.

Six days later, and after playing in two pre-season friendlies for his new side, he again said he was retiring and has not played a league game since May 2016.

“I know, if I’d had another personality I could’ve won more and played better,” added Cassano, who was capped 39 times by Italy.

“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.”

Club president Antonio Gozzi paid tribute to Cassano, saying: “I knew it would be a difficult bet to win, but it was right to try.

“For a week our and your dream have flanked reality and the whole world has talked about us.”

Agencies

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