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Top facts about Antonio Cassano, the jewel of Old Bari

Sat 12 June 2021 | 7:30

Antonio Cassano is widely known as one of the coolest and most eccentric players Italy has had over the past decades. Read on to find out more facts about Antonio Cassano.

Antonio Cassano (born July 12, 1982) is an Italian player who competed as a striker in the professional league. He was typically used as an assisting forward, although he could equally operate as an offensive midfielder, winger, or attacker.

Antonio Cassano’s age

is 38 years. Here we take a look at some of the most important facts about the former Italian star.

Cassano started his professional club career with hometown club

Bari

in 1999, and two years later, he was transferred to Roma, where he claimed the Supercoppa Italiana and was awarded

Serie A

Youth Football player of the Year twice, in 2001 and 2003.

In 2006, he transferred to

Real Madrid

in La Liga, where he claimed a league championship, but was sacked for his bad behavior, erratic appearances, and labour, and went to Italy on contract to Sampdoria a year later.

He regained his form there, and the club acquired him on a long-term basis in 2008. Before joining

Parma

in 2013, he played single seasons with Milan and Internazionale, earning the Serie A championship and the Supercoppa Italiana with the former.

He moved to Sampdoria in 2015 before joining Verona in 2017. After failing to make an appearance for the club, he retired.

Top facts about Antonio Cassano:

The first

fact about Antonio Cassano

is that he was noted for his quick temper as well as his brilliance and skill on the field, earning the nicknames Il Gioiello di Bari Vecchia ("the jewel of Old Bari") and Fantantonio ("fantastic Antonio").

Cassano played 39 times for the

Italian national team

between 2003 and 2014, netting 10 goals in the process. He competed in three UEFA European Games and one FIFA World Cup, gaining a runners-up medal at UEFA Euro 2012. With three goals, he is Italy's highest goal scorer at the UEFA European Championships, alongside

Mario Balotelli

.

Cassano's quick anger and conflicts with coaches and players inspired his former coach, Fabio Capello, to coin the term "cassanata" in 2002. Italian sports writers now use the term as a metaphor for any activity that is inconsistent with teamwork.

Antonio Cassano early life

On July 12, 1982, in Bari, Italy, this exceptional player was born into a middle-class household. Regarding

Antonio Cassano’s parents

, Gennaro Cassano is his father's name, and Giovanna Cassano is his mother's name. Soon after he was born, his dad abandoned his family. Giovanni Cassano is his brother.

Speaking about

Antonio Cassano’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he had a love for football since he was a child, and he has always aspired to be a football player. That's why, as a youngster, he used to play street football with other kids. In 1997, this outstanding Italian footballer began his youth career with the Italian football club Bari.

Antonio Cassano personal life

An important fact about

Antonio Cassano’s personal life

is that he proposed to Carolina Marcialis, a water polo player, in 2008, and the couple married on June 19, 2010, at the Chiesa di San Martino in Portofino. Christopher and Lionel are the pair's two kids (named after Lionel Messi).

Cassano spoke about finding it difficult to talk or move aboard the team jet when the squad returned to Milan on October 30, 2011. His club Milan revealed and confirmed on November 2, 2011, that he was suffering from ischemic-based brain injury, which was expected to be transient. Soon later, Cassano had minor heart surgery.

Antonio Cassano professional career

In 2018, Antonio Cassano announced his retirement from football for the third time, just a week after he started training with Serie C side Virtus Entella.

Cassano finally called time on his days as a professional footballer at 36, leaving behind one of the most controversial careers of the last 20 years.

His talent has never been in question, but his failure to fully reach his full potential leaves many wondering ‘what if?’ when they reflect on the career of the ex-Real Madrid striker.

One thing that is certain, though, is that Cassano enjoyed his career his own way, for better or worse, and provided some controversial moments along the way, as well as plenty of entertainment.

Antonio Cassano club career

Cassano was discovered by a Bari investigator and developed through the club's junior system before making his Serie A start versus Lecce on December 11, 1999.

Bari

He quickly established himself as one of Serie A's greatest young talented Italy athletes all through his time with Bari, attracting particular attention after having scored a noteworthy, individual, match-winning goal (his first ever Serie A goal) in a 2–1 home win over Italian titans Inter Milan on December 18, 1999, at the age of 17.

A notable

fact about Antonio Cassano

is that he netted 6 goals in 48 Serie A games throughout his 2 years with Bari, earning 3 goals in 21 games during his first year and 3 goals in 27 league matches during his second season.

Roma

Cassano agreed with defending Serie A winners

Roma

for a transfer price of 60 billion Italy lire (about €30 million) when he was 19 years old, making him the most valuable teenage acquisition ever. After publicly arguing with coach Fabio Capello after being pulled out of a training game a few days after his international debut, he had a successful first season, scoring five goals and winning the 2001 Supercoppa Italiana.

An important fact about Antonio Cassano is that he was sent off in the 2003 Italian Cup final versus

Milan

after contesting an official's judgment, and he displayed the horns sign at the referee as he exited the ground. He earned the Serie A Junior Sportsman of the Year Prize twice with Roma, in 2001 and 2003.

During Roma's turbulent 2004–05 season, he was left out of the team by Luigi Delneri, the club's third manager of the period (after Cesare Prandelli and Rudi Völler). Cassano was reinstated to the starting lineup when Delneri quit during the campaign, with Cassano anchoring the team in the unavailability of captain Francesco Totti, who was facing a five-match ban.

Cassano was in continual confrontation with club management throughout the 2005–06 preseason over the continuation of his deal, which was due to end on June 30, 2006. In January 2006, he parted company with Roma amicably and joined Real Madrid for only €5 million.

Real Madrid

After previous Roma colleague Christian Panucci, Cassano had become the second Italian player to join for Real Madrid. In January 18, 2006, he made his debut in a Spanish Cup game versus

Real Betis

, scoring his first goal only three minutes after coming on in the second half.

However, just four months after joining the club, he started to acquire weight owing to bad eating habits, prompting Madrid to fine him for every pound he stayed above his playing weight, earning him the moniker "Gordito."

Another

fact about Antonio Cassano

is that he was banned for "lack of respect" of Capello, who had entered the club at the start of the 2006–07 period, further to a dressing room assertion emerging from his negligence from the squad after a match against Gimnàstic de Tarragona, and was consequently sidelined alongside David Beckham and Ronaldo, according to Real Madrid's official website on 30 October.

Cassano declared he would "actually walk back" to rejoin Roma in a talk with a Roman radio station, and expressed his desire to make up with Totti, with whom he had feuded before his exit from Roma.

Cassano, on the other hand, stayed with Madrid when the January 2007 transfer window ended, and an ankle injury cut short the remainder of his year. Despite winning

La Liga

with Real Madrid in 2006–07, Cassano only made seven league games, scoring one goal.

In a July 2007 interview with Spanish radio, Real Madrid chairman Ramón Calderón characterized Cassano's behavior as "unsustainable in the previous few of months" and announced his departure from the team.

Sampdoria
Sampdoria

grabbed Cassano on a one-year contract on August 13, 2007, promising to cover €1.2 million of his €4.2 million wage.  Five days later he was introduced to a crowd of around 2,500 people.

Cassano stated in his first media briefing that he would choose the number 99 shirt for a few purposes: first, because his first selection, the number 18, had already been taken by teammate Vladimir Koman, and because 9 plus 9 equals 18, second, because another team member, Francesco Flachi, was already wearing the number 10 shirt, which was his second preference.

On September 23, he earned his Sampdoria debut versus Genoa in the Derby della Lanterna, when he was replaced in the last minutes of the match by former Roma colleague Vincenzo Montella. Cassano returned a week later and netted his first competitive strike in a 3–0 win over

Atalanta

.

In January, he netted in 3 straight matches and aided Inter break their league-leading winning streak with a goal in a 1–1 tie. Cassano, on the other hand, was sent off in a 2–2 draw with

Torino

on March 2, 2008, and received a five-match suspension for tossing his jersey at the referee as he exited the ground.

An important fact about Antonio Cassano is that Sampdoria qualified for the UEFA Cup at the conclusion of the season, and Cassano was signed on a regular deal by the team on a free move (plus bonus) from Real Madrid. Cassano showed to have improved his attitude in his second season, earning the team's vice-captain following Angelo Palombo.

Following the January signature of Giampaolo Pazzini from

Fiorentina

, Cassano and the former Viola forward formed a productive remarkable collaboration that was lauded by both the media and Sampdoria supporters, prompting club chairman Riccardo Garrone to compare it to the striking duo of Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini, who led Sampdoria to their only Scudetto to date.

Cassano scored 12 goals in Serie A that season, and he assisted Sampdoria in reaching the Coppa Italia final, scoring a goal in the semi-final versus Serie A Champions Inter. '37' Sampdoria lost to Lazio in a penalty kick in the final, with Cassano squandering the opening attempt.

His third season at Sampdoria started off well, as he maintained his productive connection with Pazzini and played a key role in the club's strong start to the season, which saw them climb to first position following a 1–0 home victory against

Inter

.

However, a string of poor results, including a 3–0 loss to crosstown rivals Genoa in the local derby, dropped Sampdoria to mid-table in January, prompting head coach Luigi Delneri to bench Cassano for "strategic and tactical concerns," putting doubt on the player's future with the team.

A fact about Antonio Cassano is that he was connected with a loan move to Fiorentina in the last weeks of the January transfer window, which was rejected by the team in an official statement, but was characterized by the media as Cassano's personal unwillingness to leave Sampdoria.

Cassano acknowledged this in an authorized statement posted on Sampdoria's webpage, noting his friendship with team president Riccardo Garrone, his colleagues, and the team's fans as the key reasons for his decision.  He was quickly reintroduced to the starting lineup, ultimately guiding Sampdoria to a fourth-place result in Serie A and a UEFA Champions League qualification slot.

Sampdoria, on the other hand, were beaten by Werder Bremen in the play-off phase and were relegated to the Europa League the following season.  At the conclusion of the season, Del Neri departed Sampdoria.

Cassano's last year with the team was tougher than his previous ones. After a violent argument with President Riccardo Garrone over the player's reluctance to attend an award ceremony in October 2010, Cassano was immediately removed from the first team squad.

After such incidents, Sampdoria officially sought to a league arbitration tribunal for a contract termination, a stance that was upheld even after Cassano apologized to Garrone and the club.

The arbitration panel ordered Sampdoria to reinstate Cassano in the first squad as of January 1, 2011, denying the Blucerchiati's demand for a contract termination, but also determining that Cassano would only be paid half his wage for the balance of his contract.

AC Milan

The striker transferred to AC Milan for the second half of the 2010/11 campaign after a disagreement with Sampdoria Chairman Riccardo Garrone.  His contract had an expiration date of June 30, 2014. Cassano and the Rossoneri won the Italian championship at the conclusion of the season.

Cassano experienced a little stroke in early November 2011, which was triggered by a hole in his heart and resulted in vertigo, speech, and visual problems. As a consequence, the attacker was obliged to have heart surgery in Milan, resulting in a five-month layoff. Cassano said that he was terrified and that he was considering resigning from his profession.  He made his return in April 2012.

Inter Milan

Cassano questioned his club AC Milan's acquisition policies at the European Championship 2012 and hinted that he would not play for the Rossoneri in the 2012/13 campaign.  He transferred to local rivals Inter Milan in August 2012, signing a two-year deal until June 30, 2014. In exchange, his old striking partner Giampaolo Pazzini joined AC Milan from Inter.

Parma

Cassano signed Parma on a contractual basis on July 4, 2013, after just one year at Inter. He was handed the number 99 jersey, which he had previously worn at other teams.

At Parma, Cassano's technical ability, endurance, and concentration all increased while he maintained weight management with a tighter diet and workout regimen, shedding 10 kg.   In a 1–1 home tie versus Bologna on November 30, he netted his 100th Serie A goal.

He rediscovered his form with Parma in 2013–14, helping the team to a sixth-place finish in the league and a Europa League qualifying slot, while also netting 13 goals and managing 8 assists in 36 games across all tournaments, with 12 goals and 7 assists coming in Serie A.  He inked a pre-contract deal with Parma for the 2014 season in February 2014.

Cassano scored five goals in 20 games for Parma in the first half of the 2014–15 season, when they were anchored to the bottom of the league and facing major financial troubles.

Parma permitted Cassano to cancel his agreement with the club in advance on January 26, 2015, making him a free agent; he had apparently not been paid his pay since June 2014 owing to the club's financial difficulties. He was originally linked with a return to Inter when his contract was terminated.

Back to Sampdoria

Cassano re-joined previous club Sampdoria for the third time on August 9, 2015, after his release from Parma in January of the same year. He signed a two-year contract with the club that lasted through June 30, 2017.  In the 64th minute of a 2–1 home loss to

Juventus

, he netted his first goal after his return to the team on 10 January 2016.

An important fact about Antonio Cassano is that he was dropped from the Sampdoria first squad during the 2016–17 preseason by club president Massimo Ferrero, who said that he was not a part of his ambitions.

Cassano turned down multiple clubs offers in order to train with the Sampdoria young squad, specifically with the Primavera squad's goalie. Cassano's deal with Sampdoria was mutually ended on January 25, 2017.

Hellas Verona
Verona

signed Cassano on July 10th, 2017. The very next week, he played in two summer friendlies for the club; however, on July 18, he was involved in a bizarre incident that received widespread media attention.

He initially stated that he would be going to retire from football because he did miss his family too much, before giving a press conference afterward that day, in which he revealed that he had reversed his decision and stated that he would be returning to the game.

On July 24, he reversed his decision and announced that he would be quitting the team and retiring from football, saying: "In contrast to what was posted on my wife's official social media accounts, I'd like to explain the following. Carolina was incorrect; after much thought and reflection, I came to a conclusion. Antonio Cassano has decided to retire from football.

I apologize to Verona, to all of the supporters, and to the president. I need to be driven as a 35-year-old guy, and right now I believe my top priority is being near to my children and wife." Cassano's agreement with Verona was formally ended by common consent on July 27, before he had started playing any official matches for the team.

In an interview, Cassano later stated that his reasons for leaving Verona so abruptly were as follows: "It's like when you're seeing a woman and she doesn't attract you anymore, so you leave."  Despite media reports that Cassano was connected with a number of teams for the January transfer window, he said again at the end of September that he was "finished" with soccer.

Antonio Cassano international career

Cassano has scored 10 goals in 39 games for the Italian national team.  He made his senior professional debut versus

Poland

in a 3–1 exhibition loss in Warsaw on November 12, 2003, at the age of 21, and netted his first goal.

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni named Cassano to Italy's UEFA Euro 2004 team. Cassano was expected to be a reserve player, but when Francesco Totti was banned for spitting on Christian Poulsen in Italy's 0–0 tie with

Denmark

, Cassano was moved into the matchday squad for a 1–1 tie with Sweden, in which he scored the first goal.

A fact about Antonio Cassano is that he was voted man of the match in Italy's last group match, a 2–1 triumph against Bulgaria, after assisting Simone Perrotta's equalizer and scoring the last-minute goal, although Italy was defeated in the group stage on straight encounters following a three-way, five-point tie with Denmark and Sweden.

Cassano was left off coach Marcello Lippi's final squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup after a terrible season with Real Madrid. Cassano was called up by new manager Roberto Donadoni in September 2006 for Euro 2008 qualifying matches versus Lithuania and France.

He was not picked again until the unexpected inclusion in the Euro 2008 team.  He went scoreless throughout the tournament, as Italy was ousted in the quarter-finals following a penalty shootout by eventual winners

Spain

.

Cassano scored the tying goal in Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier against

Estonia

over a month later, and also helped Leonardo Bonucci's second goal with a rear. In Italy's 5–0 qualification triumph against the Faroe Islands, Cassano netted a long-range goal from just beyond the area. He scored once again against Estonia, propelling Italy to a 3–0 victory.

A fact about Antonio Cassano is that during Euro 2012, he appeared in all six of Italy's matches and scored one goal against the Republic of Ireland, where the Italians reached the final before losing 4–0 to Spain. Cassano set up Mario Balotelli's opening goal of the encounter in the semi-final versus Germany.  Throughout the competition, Cassano wore the number 10 jersey for Italy.

He was punished by UEFA in July 2012 for making a homophobic remark at a news conference at Euro 2012. "I pray there are no gay players on the Italian squad," he said at the press conference when asked whether he felt there were any gay players on the squad. Later, he published a statement claiming that he had been misunderstood.

Despite not playing in the qualifying campaign, Cassano was named to Italy's World Cup roster for 2014. He also came in as a replacement in Italy's 1–0 loss to

Uruguay

in their final group encounter on June 24, which saw Italy eliminated from the competition for the second time in a row in the first round.

An important fact about Antonio Cassano is that was chastised by the press for his lack of fitness and bad results, failing to enhance his team's results and failing to give speed and inventiveness to the team's offensive efforts. After the tournament, Italy's new coach Antonio Conte, did not call him up, hence this would be his last appearance for the country.

Antonio Cassano social media

Regarding

Antonio Cassano social media

, it should be mentioned that he does not an Instagram page and all pages in that platform named after him are unofficial or fake.

He has a Twitter account (@

CassanoOfficial

) with more than 71K followers. It’s been nearly ten years since his last post on his page.

Antonio Cassano body measurements

Speaking about

Antonio Cassano body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former star is 5 ft 9 in (175 cm) and weighs 171 lbs (78 kg).

Antonio Cassano net worth and salary

As of 2021,

Antonio Cassano’s net worth

is expected to be about 20 million Euro. He is now serving as sports director of TV program Tiki Taka and this position is his main source of income after his retirement as a professional player.

A fact about Antonio Cassano’s net worth is that aside from his football earnings, he has amassed a fortune from private partnerships for major brands. Cassano is a Diadora company representative and during his tenure, he wore their Evoluzione K Pro GX 14 football boots in black and brilliant yellow.

In June 2015, he was charged with tax evasion for failing to disclose to the tax office a portion of his 2006 Real Madrid pay of 3 million euros out of a total of 8 million euros.

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