Sunday, 28 October 2007

Cassano plays down 'walk-off'

Sampdoria striker Antonio Cassano denied his sudden departure from Sunday's game with Catania was anything other than an injury-related decision.

Cassano, whose career has been littered with bust-ups with successive coaches, left the game of his own accord with the score 1-0 without any consultation with team physios and with Samp team-mate Vincenzo Montella remonstrating with him.

The 25-year-old's antics during his career have even led to a new word in the Italian language - 'cassanata' - which means tantrum. But in a statement on the club's official website, the on-loan Real Madrid player denied that his departure was anything untoward.

Cassano said: "I don't understand all the fuss about my decision to go directly down the tunnel to the dressing rooms.

"At that moment my world had fallen apart, I felt crushed by my umpteenth injury. I was upset and disappointed so I went straight to the tunnel.

"There is no row with anyone, I was only sad and upset."

Asked about why Montella had taken issue with him, Cassano said: "Vincenzo did not understand I was hurt and at the end of the game he said sorry. All I am thinking of now is to recover as soon as possible."

The website says Cassano strained his left thigh and that it would be examined on Monday. Catania won the game 2-0.

Source: C4 Football Italia / Sampdoria / Sporting Life

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