Cassano laughs off China move
04 Feb 2018 - 15:18
Milan: Former Italy international Antonio Cassano on Sunday dismissed as "stupid" talk of him joining a club in China.
The 35-year-old, who has hesitated over retirement since leaving Verona last summer, was capped 39 times by Italy in his career and played for Roma, Real Madrid and both Milan clubs.
Despite interest from China, the forward whose career was packed with controversy, told Corriere della Sera anyone who goes to China does so purely for financial reasons.
"Going to China? Stupid. For me everyone is free to do what they want," he said.
"But whoever goes to play in China should admit they are doing it for the money.
"I don't even remember the name of the team who want to sign me."
He added he was open to playing anywhere else but only with a club where he has the total support of the management.
"I want to know whether I can still make it. It needs a president and a coach who have 100 percent belief in me. Otherwise, I will leave it be.
"However, if I do find it, I'll be ready. I'll sign for free, I have already earned enough money."
Cassano spent his youth at his hometown club Bari before making headlines as a 17-year-old when he scored a stunning last-gasp winner to sink Inter Milan in 1999.
He became the most expensive teenager in football history at the time when he earned a 30 million euro move to Roma in 2001.
Despite a career overshadowed by his hot-headed reputation and a UEFA fine for making homophobic comments, he believes he still has what it takes to play.
"The things I did wrong I paid for (in my career), that's how it should be," said Cassano.
"I train every day, using the regime of my former coach, (Agostino) Tibaudi. And I play tennis three times a week with my accountant.
"He always wins, for now, but I was born to play football."