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One more year: Antonio Cassano dramatically un-retires hours after stepping away from football

The 35-year-old signed for Verona eight days ago, announced his retirement earlier today and hours later revealed his un-retirement at a press conference.

JUST HOURS AFTER announcing his retirement Antonio Cassano made a dramatic U-Turn on his plans to hang up his boots earlier today.

The striker signed for recently promoted Serie A side Hellas Verona at the beginning of last week before announcing his retirement from the game earlier today.

However this afternoon, just hours later, the former Italy international told a press conference that he had suffered a change of heart and was very much looking forward to next season.

Verona were due to announce the signing of Thomas Heurtaux from Udinese before tweeting that instead Cassano would face the media, where he announced his un-retirement.

Italy Soccer Verona Cassano Cassano has not played a game in Serie A since 2016. Source: AP/PA Images

“It was a time of great weakness. This morning I had a meeting to say that I wanted to pull off”, he is quoted in Gazetta dello Sport.

“But thanks to the tenacity this of gentleman, Filippo Fusco (sporting director), thanks to the President, thanks to my wife and my children, I want to continue.”

Cassano did not play a single game in 2016/17 while at Sampdoria having fallen out with controversial club president Massimo Ferrero. Rather than find a new club the player agreed to train with the club’s youth team.

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Soccer - UEFA Euro 2012 - Group C - Italy v Republic of Ireland - Municipal Stadium Cassano celebrates scoring against Ireland at Euro 2012. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Cassano re-joined Sampdoria in 2015 following stints at AC Milan, Inter and Parma after departing in 2008.

In the crowning moment of his career, the player was the standout performer for Italy at Euro 2004, earning a move to Real Madrid in 2006 where he scored just two goals during a tumultuous period at the Bernabeu.

Cassano scored the opening goal against Ireland in a 2-0 defeat to Italy at Euro 2012 and retired from the national team following their exit from the World Cup two years later.

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Aaron Gallagher

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