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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

'I ruined myself' - Former Real Madrid and Italy star admits his own attitude was his limiting factor

Antonio Cassano, now 35, feels he did not fulfill his potential due to his approach to football.

Antonio Cassano (file pic).
Antonio Cassano (file pic).

FORMER ITALY INTERNATIONAL Antonio Cassano believes he could have been like five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi and the world’s most expensive player Neymar if he had not “ruined” himself.

Cassano enjoyed spells with Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter and Roma, winning La Liga and the Serie A, while he also earned 39 international caps for Italy.

However, the 35-year-old — who twice backtracked on his decision to sign for Verona in the off-season but insists he has not retired — feels he did not fulfill his potential due to his approach to football.

“I am a problematic guy, as I never know what mood I’m going to wake up in,” Cassano told Rai Sport.

I could’ve been playing on another planet, but I had this issue that I didn’t like training and I wanted to eat the way I felt like at the time and I ruined myself…

“I played in the best clubs in the world, like Real Madrid, Inter and Milan. If I’d had another head on my shoulders, I could’ve been playing on Mars. I’d be like Lionel Messi, Neymar and few others.”

Cassano added: “Francesco Totti and I, we used to play in the streets, running between parked cars to get the ball. Today, it’s all so organised and planned out, everyone with their iPads and video games. Football mustn’t be a hobby for those in this profession, but a passion and joy.

“I see a real downturn in Italy, as there’s just organisation and no talent. Serie A games bore me, I prefer to watch guys down the park.”

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