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Antonio Cassano – by Gabriele Marcotti

More about mad Antonio’s autobiography and more!

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by Gabriele Marcotti

www.timesonline.co.uk

Football is filled with so many military parallels that it’s the closest thing to war without violence (usually, anyway). Players are regimented, they train like soldiers under the eye of a drill sergeant, their coach. Team-mates build the kind of bond that is comparable to that which exists between those who fight and serve together. And, of course, there’s the discipline, the conformity and the coalescing to form something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Then along comes Antonio Cassano, a guy for whom discipline and conformity take a back seat to honesty and self-indulgence. How honest is he? Well, a few pages into his book, Dico tutto (e se fa caldo gioco all’ombra), translated as “I’ll tell you everything (and if it’s hot I’ll play in the shade)”, Cassano shares the fact that, when he was 12, he had a crush on his teacher. Sweet, right? Except he also tells us that he would go to the bathroom thinking about her and “well, you can imagine what came next”.

Normal and healthy, no doubt, but also a little too much information than we are accustomed to. Especially from a footballing superstar.

And what about the self-indulgence? Cassano loves football, but he also loves sex and food. He says he has slept with some “600 to 700” women, which, given that he is 26, is quite a feat. However, now that he plans to get married, he’ll presumably never match the late Wilt Chamberlain, the legendary basketball star, who claims that he had 20,000 sexual partners, which works out at just over one a day from the age of 15.

When Cassano was at Real Madrid, he would pay the bellboy to sneak a woman into his hotel room late at night on the eve of each home game. When he was done, he would gorge himself on four or five pastries. “Sex plus food: a perfect night”, he writes.

Because most of us who love football have come to terms, at some time or other, with the fact that we lack the God-given skills to fulfil our sporting dreams, we harbour a natural resentment towards people such as Cassano, men who had the gift but never fully exploited it. And Cassano certainly had — and in many ways still has — the ability to be one of the best players in the world. He has a rare cocktail of physical strength, pace, flair and technique, which is why Fabio Capello’s Roma paid £18 million for him when he was just shy of his 19th birthday, making him the most expensive teenage signing in the world at the time.

Needless to say, he has not come close to tapping his outrageous talent. And it’s not just the passion for sex and junk food. Lack of discipline and insubordination accompanied him almost everywhere. He says his favourite routine when he disagrees with a coach is to rip off his shirt and say: “Fine. In that case, why don’t you go on the pitch and play instead of me?” He has pulled this stunt with half-a-dozen managers. On other occasions, he has pretended to be injured or ill to miss a game and, once, he simply failed to turn up, literally locking himself in his house for three days (presumably with ample supplies of junk food).

Not even Capello, who managed him at Roma and Real, could tame him for any length of time. Despite admitting that he had a love-hate relationship with the present England manager — who once terrorised him by furiously chasing Cassano up and down the training ground bellowing: “Don’t run away! Only cowards run!” — he says that there is an underlying respect there, which is more than you can say for most of the coaches he has worked with.

It’s one of the realities of football that talent trumps (almost) anything. You can behave this way and — if not get away with it — at least live the life of a multimillionaire, playing top-flight football in front of adoring crowds. “I spent the first 17 years of my life dirt-poor,” said Cassano, who was raised by a single mother in one of the most crime-ridden neighbourhoods in Italy and said he is certain that had it not been for football, he would have become a hoodlum. “Then I spent nine years living the life of a millionaire. That means I need another eight years living the way I do now and then I’ll be even.”

That’s not what managers want to hear, which may explain why Cassano is now playing for Sampdoria, a mid-table team. But he doesn’t mind. Unlike 99.9 per cent of footballers, he isn’t preoccupied with “winning trophies”. “Winning is nice, but it doesn’t make you happy,” he writes.

“The problem is that we live in a culture obsessed with success. We fool ourselves into thinking we have to do our best and make sacrifices to succeed. But why? Trophies come and go. Once you’ve retired, it will all be gone, they’ll just be numbers in an almanac. And, except for [Diego] Maradona and Pelé and maybe a couple others, nobody will remember you or what you’ve won.”

“What is truly important is being happy now. I know I haven’t given 100 per cent physically or mentally to this game. At best, I gave 50 per cent. Maybe a tiny bit more in the good years. But so what? Thanks to my talent, I live like a king, I play football and I have a great time. If I had wanted to give 100 per cent, I would have stayed at Real Madrid, sacrificed lots of things, done my very best and I probably would have succeeded. Instead, I’m here at Sampdoria and I love it.”

Words that would bring most people’s blood to boiling point. We’re taught that squandering talent and opportunity is one of the biggest moral crimes an individual can commit. And that may be true. But it’s equally true that in a world of trite clichés and gutless conformity — and I’m not just talking about football — a man such as Cassano who can be brutally honest not just to himself, but to the whole world, makes for a refreshing change.

Will he regret it once his youth and talent have succumbed to the passing of time? “I don’t think so, but, if I do feel that way one day, I’ll let you know,” he writes.

It’s hard to tell if he will. He already has a plan for life after football. “I plan to get fat,” he writes. “I mean really, really fat. Even now, when I don’t play for a month, I’ll put on a dozen pounds. I plan on eating. A lot. I plan on eating everything.”

He ends his book by comparing his talent to a Ferrari. To get the best out of such a car, you need to be on the open road, pushing the engine to its limit, roaring along at 150mph. “I’d be driving my Ferrari through the centre of town in third gear, window down, arm out, smiling happily,” he writes.

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December 6, 2008 Posted by | Antonio Cassano, Football, Italy, _SPORT | Leave a comment

Antonio Cassano thinks he’s in Raging Bull !

Madcap Antonio Cassano loses the plot again against Torino !

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December 5, 2008 Posted by | Antonio Cassano, Football, Italy, _SPORT, _VIDEO | Leave a comment

Antonio Cassano will tell you everything

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I made friends with one of the waiters. His job was to bring me 3 or 4 cornetti after I had sex. He would bring the cornetti to the stairs, I would bring the girl and we would make a trade: he took the girl, I stuffed myself with cornetti. Sex plus food, the perfect night“.

Eccentric Italian footballer Antonio Cassano has released a rather interesting autobiography!

Never one to keep his own council of hide what he feels!

Interesting array of sexual exploits too! And trading of girls for late night snacks!!

In the autobiography, he claims to have slept with between 600 and 700 women.

Sounds far more interesting than the usual bland football nitwits!

Antonio Cassano, from Bari, is an Italian footballer currently playing for Serie A club U.C. Sampdoria and the Italian national team.

He is known for being the worst player ever to play for the Italian National Team!

He’s known too for his short temper, as well as his ability, on the pitch, which led to the coining of the neologism Cassanata by his former coach, Fabio Capello, in November 2002. The word is regularly used by Italian journalists as a euphemism of any behavior incompatible with team spirit in football!

Cassano is currently dating 17-year old Carolina Marcialis, who plays water polo at Diavolina Nervi. He has recently stated their relationship as the reason for him calming down his antics and settling down.

Piece below from http://italy.theoffside.com

News arrives that Antonio Cassano has (with the help of writer Gianluigi Pardo) has authored his first autobiography, entitled “Vi Dico Tutto” (I’ll tell you everything). And as always, Cassano does indeed tell us everything. We’ll have to wait for the book to actually be released (it will be on Italian bookshelves next week, November 19 to be exact) to read everything but some excerpts were released and they are quite amusing and interesting.

His origins

First Cassano talks about growing up in Bari Vecchia: “I was poor my whole life, but I never worked, mainly because I don’t know how to do anything.”

He’s in love with Bari Vecchia, Antò, Piazza Ferrarese more than anything, his home. “I played near the bancarelle (little market stands), everyone wanted me on their team and bet 10, 15 or 20 thousand lire on the team that I played on. However I wasn’t dumb: I wanted the money, so they had to give me a percentage“. And there, near the bancarelle, there wasn’t much joking around: “Frequently you heard gunshots, police sirens, ambulances“.

His judgment of his current life: “So far I have lived 17 years as a disgraziato (ungrateful person) and 9 as a millionaire. I have 8 years left to break even“. (I guess that means he’ll be playing for 8 more years?) A phenomenon on the pitch, little Antonio wasn’t so much a phenomen in school: “I had a ‘2′ in all subjects [Italy uses a grading system from 1-10, 2 is almost equivalent to a 20]. I failed a grade 6 times, from elementary school to middle school”.

Antonio grew and he became obsessed with cars: “My first love was a Volkswagen Golf that [Bari President] Matarrese gave me as a gift after Bari-Inter. A promise kept by the president. The car was free but for the license I had to spend a little bit, not much, they gave me a good price. When I was 17 in the space of a few months they took away from me two 125 cc. motorcycles and three cars”.

Relationships with coaches

“Eugenio Fascetti (former Bari manager) is the only manager I never caused trouble with. I detested Claudio Gentile (former Italy U21 manager)”.

To Luciano Spalletti he said: “You’re not coaching those useless players you had at Udinese, this isn’t your house, it’s my house“.

Then on Fabio Capello: “In Tarragona he made me and Ronaldo warm up the whole second half without putting us in. In the locker room I told him ‘you’re a piece of shit, you’re more fake than Monopoly money“.

Then on Luigi Del Neri: “I never understood what the fuck he was talking about and he was too ambiguous.“.

About former Roma striker Gabriel Batistuta he said “he had a smell under his nose” (like saying he had a certain air to him).

Then about his falling out with Francesco Totti, which started when both players were guests on Maria De Filippi’s TV show and the Roma captain took home 80% of the appearance fee.

His two passions: Food and Sex

With food and sex Cassano doesn’t joke around. He talks about his important stories (”Four girlfriends in 11 years is a low number“) and the rest (”To summarize, I had a few other adventures. Let’s say that between the 600 and 700 women I’ve been with, around 20 were from the show business world“).

And then: “Many times I played great games right after having sex. Go look at Roma-Juve 4-0. I had sex at six in the morning that Sunday, with one of the many ‘friends’ I had at that time. I

n Madrid it was even easier, because we were in a hotel, the whole squad and staff on one floor, so on the floors above or below you could invite whoever you wanted to meet you during the night. I made friends with one of the waiters. His job was to bring me 3 or 4 cornetti after I had sex. He would bring the cornetti to the stairs, I would bring the girl and we would make a trade: he took the girl, I stuffed myself with cornetti. Sex plus food, the perfect night“.

By: Francesco

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December 5, 2008 Posted by | Antonio Cassano, Football, Italy, _SPORT | Leave a comment