Antonio Cassano Has Unretired Yet Again & Is Now Seeking a New Club After Leaving Hellas Verona
Italian maverick Antonio Cassano sounds as if he is intent on continuing his professional football career, despite signing for Hellas Verona, retiring, unretiring, and then seemingly retiring again as he left Hellas in the space of just the last few weeks.
Cassano only arrived at Hellas earlier this month, informing club officials of his wish to quit just over a week later. That decision was reversed within hours, but having started training with the club, he then quit the club for real, in a move that was interpreted as a second retirement.
But in comments to Italian newspaper La Stampa, former Roma, Real Madrid, Milan and Inter forward Cassano, recently 35 years of age, has suggested it wasn't his departure from the Verona club that meant him retiring, but rather a bad feeling that he wanted to break off early.
"When I spoke with Hellas, I never said 'I'm retiring. I would challenge anybody who claims the opposite," he is quoted as saying in English by FourFourTwo.
"Other things have been written, but the truth is this: when we terminated my contract, they asked about inserting a compensation clause in the event that I found another club. I accepted. It has nothing to do with homesickness.
"I definitely want to continue and I have more than a few ideas, but no offers. The main thing is I enjoy myself, like I always have done in my career."
With league titles in Spain and Italy to his name and over 500 appearances for as many as eight different clubs in the last 18 years, Cassano's career has never been one of simplicity.
"Life is made of decisions and you can make decisions which you think are right and then reconsider them. It's happened billions of times in the world, but if it happens to a footballer, it makes more noise," he said, explaining away the reaction to the strange recent saga.
"Then if you add to that it is Cassano, then he's just crazy. I've made a lot [of decisions] in my crazed life, but I am not stupid, and above all I have always been coherent. As for everything else, I am used to living with media pressures. I've become a raincoat - rain just slides off me.''
In typical Cassano fashion, he added: "The spark simply did not ignite with Hellas and I realised that straight away. It's like being with a woman and realising you don't want to spend time with her. It's a question of feeling, of something in the air. I felt it was better to interrupt things rather than drag them on."
What next remains unclear, but he expressed an interest once more in joining Virtus Entella in Serie B, having admitted coming close to joined the small Sicilian club midway through last season. But whatever happens, he wants the offer in by September.
"[Entella] would be a big challenge, to try to get a miraculous promotion into Serie A. Now, if anybody wants me they have to call me because I don't have an agent. I'll wait until September, otherwise I will just stay at home."