Antonio Cassano

Antonio Cassano (Italian pronunciation: [anˈtɔːnjo kasˈsaːno];[2][3] born 12 July 1982) is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a forward. A talented and technically gifted player, he was usually deployed as a supporting forward,[4] but could also play as an attacking midfielder,[5] winger,[6] or as a striker.[7] Nicknamed Il Gioiello di Bari Vecchia ("the jewel of Old Bari"), and Fantantonio ("fantastic Antonio"), he was known for his short temper as much as his skill and ability on the pitch.[8] Cassano won an Italian and Spanish league title each throughout his career as major honours.

Antonio Cassano
Cassano playing for Italy at the UEFA Euro 2012
Personal information
Full name Antonio Cassano[1]
Date of birth (1982-07-12) 12 July 1982 (age 39)
Place of birth Bari, Italy
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Position(s) Forward
Youth career
1997–1998 Bari
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2001 Bari 48 (6)
2001–2006 Roma 118 (39)
2006–2008 Real Madrid 19 (2)
2007–2008Sampdoria (loan) 22 (10)
2008–2011 Sampdoria 74 (25)
2011–2012 Milan 33 (7)
2012–2013 Internazionale 28 (7)
2013–2015 Parma 53 (17)
2015–2017 Sampdoria 24 (2)
2017 Verona 0 (0)
Total 419 (115)
National team
1998 Italy U15 9 (2)
1998 Italy U16 2 (0)
1999 Italy U18 2 (0)
2000 Italy U20 8 (2)
2000–2002 Italy U21 9 (3)
2003–2014 Italy 39 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Cassano began his senior club career with hometown club Bari in 1999; his performances earned him a transfer to Roma two years later, where he won the Supercoppa Italiana and was twice named Serie A Young Footballer of the Year in 2001 and 2003. In 2006, he moved to La Liga club Real Madrid, where he won a league title, but was chastised for his poor behaviour, inconsistent performances, and work-rate, and returned to Italy a year later, on loan to Sampdoria. There, he refound his form, and was signed by the club on a permanent basis in 2008. He then spent single seasons with Milan and cross-city rivals Internazionale, winning a Serie A title and his Supercoppa Italiana with the former, before signing for Parma in 2013. In 2015, he returned to Sampdoria, and in 2017, signed with Verona. He failed to make an appearance for the club and subsequently retired.

At international level, Cassano represented the Italy national football team on 39 occasions between 2003 and 2014, scoring 10 goals; he took part at three UEFA European Championships, and one FIFA World Cup, winning a runners-up medal at UEFA Euro 2012. Along with Mario Balotelli, he is Italy's top-scorer in the UEFA European Championships, with three goals.[9]

Cassano's short temper and disputes with managers and teammates led to birth of the neologism "cassanata" by his former coach, Fabio Capello, in 2002. The word is now regularly used by Italian sports journalists as a euphemism for any behavior incompatible with team spirit.[10]