© foto di Daniele Buffa/Image Sport
Antonio Cassano is never trite. In the press conference he started off talking about how he felt about playing against Spain after the physical problems he had some months ag “Before the match, I was very nervous. I really did not think I would play in the European Championships after what had happened to me. Now I talk about it with no problems, but I was really scared. When things like this happen you start considering everything else in a different way. I am not a religious person, but I think I was granted a favor. Now I want to be a protagonist in these European Championships along with the rest of the team. I am sorry only about the fact that Giuseppe Rossi is not with us and his absence is a great loss for us”. As far as his physical condition is concerned, he explained: “The more I train, the more I play, the more minutes of play I have in my legs: at the moment, I can play about severnty minutes; playing often, however, you get tired and to reach 90’ minute sit takes more time. I did not play for five and a half months and to get in top shape takes time”.
The atmosphere is relaxed in the press room and Cassano jokes around: “They say that I should be a tutor for Balotelli, this says in what shape we are in because who will be my tutor?”.
The Milan forward admits that the National team can have only one objective: “Italy has always started off to win. Before the match against Russia we were one of the favorite teams, then everyone attacked us. I think that Italy h as to play the way it knows how to play and we have the qualities needed to go ahead”. Cassano also talked about the much talked about scoring occasion that Balotelli had: “He said he wanted to pass the ball to me. I answered ‘with what you have you should go all the way’ Unfortunately he did not realize that Sergio Ramos was coming back. Pity. I would have passed the ball: I like to make others score more than scoring myself”.
With regards to his teammates on offense: "What is important is that I am there, any of the players is ok. Di Natale is my favorite hobby in this period. I call him “sharpshooter”, give him half a ball and he scores. He has shown everyone that he knows how to score even in the matches that count”.
Cassano then talked again about the tie against Spain: “I am happy because we played a very good match. Prandelli has always made us play offensive football, and then there are teams that allow you to be more offensive than others and others that allow you to be less offensive like Spain. A style that is similar to Barcellona, a team that I adore”.
He knows that the stakes are high with Croatia: “Croatia is a strong team, with Modric above all, but we have to think about ourselves. We have to think only about winning so we can be sure of qualifying and be even more confident after the match against Spain”. And to those who asked for a comment about the comments said by Alessandro Cecchi Paone regarding the presence of homosexuals on the National team, he said: “It is their problem, not mine”.