Cassano: ‘I rejected Juve four times, Spalletti is playing football 3.0’


Serie A veteran Antonio Cassano explained why he rejected Juventus ‘four times’ in the past while praising Luciano Spalletti’s work at Napoli. The former Roma, Inter and Milan forward is known for his controversial comments, especially when it comes to the Bianconeri, who has made a habit of criticising in recent years. Speaking in a lengthy interview with La Repubblica, Cassano once again singled out Juve coach Max Allegri for his style of football, while complimenting Spalletti for what he see’s as ‘football 3.0’ and explained how he tried to reconcile the situation between him and Francesco Totti:

“Roma v Juventus 4-0 in 2004? One of the best games of my life. The problem is that I played those once every six years. It fascinated me to play against the big teams. I used to say to myself: ‘now I will show you who is the strongest’. Dacourt, in the dressing room, used to say: great matches make great players.

“Juventus? I was never fascinated by Juve, not even for a second: they tried so sign me four times, including after they returned from Serie B, but they had nothing to do with my idea of football. I would have lasted three days there: on the first day they sign me, on the second day they presented me, on the third they kick me out.

“Juve with Allegri has been rubbish for a year and a half, he’s leftover from ten years ago, and yet he has the strongest squad in the league.

“Coaches? There are so many unhumble coaches here, I don’t see Klopp, Guardiola, Luis Enrique or a futurist like Nagelsmann:  The only one that surprises me is ‘Lucianone’ Spalletti: are we at football 2.0? He is at football 3.0: he combines the direct play of Klopp and the possession of Guardiola. He knows how to do one and the other, he’s showing us in Italy and around the world what he can do. He’s brilliant, but he doesn’t pander to journalists.”

“Real? After Real Madrid I had to go to another great team. I received an offer from Liverpool and Juve, who had returned from Serie B, but the idea of playing with Sampdoria amazed me. If I had gone to another team, I would not have met my wife, Carolina. She and my children gave me a lot after that in my life.

“Totti and Spalleti? I tried to reconcile them and re-establish communication, and I would be happy if that happened. Luciano wanted the best for the team and the group, while Totti, if I had asked him ‘did you always want to play?’ He would have said ‘yes’, and so there are those who took advantage of that and separated them.”

“Luciano likes to set the rules and for everyone to be disciplined. In a team, the young players were the ones who carried the training equipment, but with Spalletti everyone carried them, including Totti, Montella and me. I rebelled and for my wrong behavior, after 3 days, he pulled the vice-captaincy from me and then removed me from the team.”



Serie A obsessive.