Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

David Schiavone On September - 23 - 2009

Now Is The Time For Cassano!

Antonio Cassano and crew celebrate a goal for Sampdoria 04.22.09I have yet to wade into the Cassano/Lippi debate fully, but after another superlative performance from ‘FantAntnio’ I just couldn’t hold my tongue any longer. Marcelo Lippi… You must take Antonio Cassano to the World Cup!

Antonio Cassano’s temper tantrums are well documented, spraying a member of Roma’s coaching staff in the face with a water bottle, kicking a corner flag in half, falling out with numerous coaches and more recently challenging the referee to a fight after being sent off last season against Torino. In his autobiography he states that, “I only play to 50 percent of my potential.” If this is true then I cannot wait till he nears the magical 100 percent mark.

Lippi has somewhat frozen him out of the Italy set-up, claiming that his attitude is not what La Nazionale need. A fair point, Cassano isn’t nicknamed the Bari brat for no reason. However, it seems this attitude, the cause of so much bad feeling and angst, has changed.

Cassano reported to pre-season training a week earlier than the rest of his team-mates. A move that surprised most around the peninsula and has most definitely paid dividends so far at least. It has been reported Cassano held a mini team-talk before the game against Siena, saying, “Lads, pay attention, because it’s games like these, against Siena, that we risk the most.” These cannot be the words of a brat, surely? He has also said he is willing to play left-back for the Azzurri, Fabio Grosso might not be too happy, but to even say such a thing shows the desire he has to once again pull on the magnificent Savoy blue jersey.

Calls have also been growing in the football world for Cassano to be given a chance for the Azzurri. “Cassano and Italy? It’s obvious that Cassano delights people with his extraordinary play, I cannot do more than wish Antonio the best because he deserves a call up.” Said Samp director Beppe Marotta.

Enrico Chiesa added his voice, “Cassano deserves La Nazionale, but in football those who deserve it don’t always play, it also happens in club football. Often a lot of other factors are decisive.”

While Pietro Vierchowod, Sampdoria legend and an Italian Football FanCast ‘Legend of Calcio’ commented that “Cassano is the best, he is the player with the most fantasia in Italy. He cannot be left at home. He has to be in that group of 22 players, because he can suddenly resolve problems.”

And finally, England coach Fabio Capello, a former manger of Cassano added his weight behind the campaign for a FantAntonio call up, “I have always said that he is the biggest Italian talent and I hope that one day he will be included in the squad for the World Cup.”

I might not add much weight behind the Cassano for Italy campaign, but he needs to be called up, Italy lack creativity and he can provide that in spades, in the four games he has played in Serie A, its four assists and a solitary goal. Further evidence that a fantastic season is in the offing.

With Italy all but qualified for the World Cup, now is the time to get Antonio in the side and let the fantasista show the nation what he can do.

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