Monday, December 1, 2008

Cassano: soccer player, writer, comedian

At UF, we have a bit of a thing for Antonio Cassano. He embodies all the qualities we covet in a soccer star: talent, passion, hard work, and batshit insanity. Well, thankfully for us, he's gone and scribed himself a tell-all book (perhaps too tell-all for some) about the life and times of the man himself.

Let's just say it raises the bar for soccer autobiographies quite a bit, nay, for all athlete autobiographies. Stories of masturbation, sex and pastries, fast cars, philosophies on winning, and refreshing honesty fill its pages. We reckon poor Wayne Rooney should sit down and rethink his strategy should he dare do another book.

For starters, Cassano loves the ladies, claiming that he's slept with "600 to 700 women", which is impressive for someone who's only 26. Not only that, but he'd pay bellboys to bring women to his hotel room on the night before home games when he was on the books at Real Madrid. After some lovin', he'd eat a few croissants. "Sex plus food: a perfect night," a mantra we can all get behind.

He talks about childhood crushes:

Cassano shares the fact that, when he was 12, he had a crush on his teacher. Sweet, right? Except he also tells us that he would go to the bathroom thinking about her and “well, you can imagine what came next”.
Not something you could ever imagine Landon Donovan sharing in some turgid prose, and honestly, would you be interested anyway? There's something about Cassano's persona that makes this sort of confession almost expected and hoped for.

His thoughts on winning and success go a long way to explaining why he is where he is now, performing well at a comfortable mid-table team:
"Winning is nice, but it doesn’t make you happy.

The problem is that we live in a culture obsessed with success. We fool ourselves into thinking we have to do our best and make sacrifices to succeed. But why? Trophies come and go. Once you’ve retired, it will all be gone, they’ll just be numbers in an almanac. And, except for [Diego] Maradona and PelĂ© and maybe a couple others, nobody will remember you or what you’ve won.

What is truly important is being happy now. I know I haven’t given 100 per cent physically or mentally to this game. At best, I gave 50 per cent. Maybe a tiny bit more in the good years. But so what? Thanks to my talent, I live like a king, I play football and I have a great time. If I had wanted to give 100 per cent, I would have stayed at Real Madrid, sacrificed lots of things, done my very best and I probably would have succeeded. Instead, I’m here at Sampdoria and I love it."
Can't really argue with that, although again, can you really imagine any of the squeaky clean soccer brands saying something like this? It'd be hard to shill for Adidas if you don't really care about the final result, I'd imagine.

The final quote sums up Cassano best: what will he do when he stops playing football?
"I plan to get fat, I mean really, really fat. Even now, when I don’t play for a month, I’ll put on a dozen pounds. I plan on eating. A lot. I plan on eating everything."
Amen, Antonio. We wish you the best with that.

We're waiting eagerly for an English translation, and after reading this, I bet you are too.

While on the subject of soccer tell-alls, whose book (if written with honesty; we all know that's a dream, right?) would you like to read most?

[Also, there's a Spanish-language story here about the Cassano book. If anyone can help with translation, give us more of the good stuff in the comments. Lord knows what the hoity-toity Times neglected to mention.]


Mike Georger said...

I'm still waiting on the English translation of Carra's autobiography.

Zidane could probably tell a good story and I like to think he kills men with his bare hands. Andy Johnson would be fun just to read about all the diving.

Adam said...

Giving 50%, getting really fat after playing, sounds like an NBA player.

Andrew said...

"I plan to get fat, I mean really, really fat . . . I plan on eating. A lot. I plan on eating everything."

Dean Windass remains unimpressed.

The Fan's Attic said...

Andy Reid wonders why Cassano would wait until retirement to get really fat.