Friday, August 5, 2011

Antonio Cassano

Antonio Cassano (born 12 July 1982 in Bari) is an Italian footballer who plays for Serie A club Milan, mainly as a forward. Nicknamed Il Gioiello di Bari Vecchia ("the jewel of Old Bari"), he is known for his short temper as much 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 for any behavior incompatible with team spirit in football.

Cassano was born in Bari and his father left the family shortly thereafter.[citation needed] He was raised in the Bari Vecchia neighbourhood, and began playing football at an early age. Cassano was spotted by an A.S. Bari scout and brought up through the team's youth system, and he made his Serie A debut for Bari against local rivals U.S. Lecce in 1999.

He was omitted from the squad during Roma's tumultuous 2004–05 campaign while Luigi Delneri, Roma's third coach of the season (after Cesare Prandelli and Rudi Völler), was in charge. After Delneri himself resigned during the season, his replacement, Bruno Conti, returned Cassano to the starting lineup, with Cassano captaining the team in the absence of incumbent Francesco Totti, who was serving a five-match suspension.

Cassano became the second ever Italian player to sign for Real Madrid after former Roma teammate Christian Panucci. His début came on 18 January 2006, in a Spanish Cup match against Real Betis, and scored his first goal just three minutes after entering the match in the second half.However, just four months into his tenure with the club, he began gaining weight due to poor eating habits, which resulted in Madrid fining him for every gram he remained over his playing weight.

On 13 August 2007, Sampdoria took Cassano on a one-year loan, agreeing to pay €1.2 million of his €4.2 million salary. He was presented to approximately 2,500 fans five days later.[citation needed] In his first press conference, Cassano said that since his first-choice number 18 was already taken by teammate Vladimir Koman, he had instead chosen 99, because 9 plus 9 equals 18.

On 20 December 2010, it was reported that Milan, Sampdoria and the player agreed the installment plan to pay €5 million to Real Madrid which was indicated in Cassano's buy-out clause when he left the Spanish club. The agreement involved Sampdoria and Milan paying €2.5 million each to Real Madrid. Cassano then signed a three-and-a-half year contract with Milan, which was later confirmed by Milan's owner Silvio Berlusconi.

Antonio Cassano Expression

Antonio Cassano Wallpaper

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