‘Only a fool could fail at Madrid’

Antonio Cassano has admitted that “only a fool could’ve played the way I did” at Real Madrid after reflecting on his tumultuous time in Spain.

Cassano controversially joined Madrid in January 2006 after he refused to sign a new contract with Roma and made just 29 appearances for Los Blancos before his eventual departure 18 months later, amidst reports of his party lifestyle, excessive eating habits and poor relationship with then-Coach Fabio Capello.

“I couldn’t say no to Madrid,” he told AS.

“Many people would pay money to play there. It was the Madrid of the Galacticos, so Zidane, Figo, Raul, Beckham, Guti, Roberto Carlos, Casillas …

“[On why he failed], it was Robinho or me. I started well, scoring on my debut, but when you go to Madrid, you can do two things: be with your family, focused, or being a fool.

“I did the second thing, be the fool, but I had a perfect time.

“Yes, it’s normal [on feeling as if Madrid was a wasted opportunity].

“I didn’t think I was at the greatest team ever. Only a fool could’ve played the way I did at Madrid.

“[On his previous lifestyle of food, sex and football] it was perfect!

“It was the best thing, until February 2, 2008, when I met my current wife. But until 2008, yes.

“Yes [on being addicted to sex]. When you’re 20 years old and like girls, you have a desire to do it every day. And I had that chance.

“[On if his sex addiction stopped him from playing more for Madrid], no. I didn’t play because I was 10 kilos over, it’s as simple as that.

“I was 93kg [when he joined Madrid]. My ideal weight is 83. To give you an idea, I started this season at Sampdoria with 95kg.

“I had a friend [at the hotel he lived at], and at 10 [in the evening], I’d spend what I wanted on having food sent to my room.

“I’d give her €200 or 500. The downside was that she wasn’t there when we played away!

“[On whether women] it was normal. I remember on our US tour, it was the same thing. I was wearing a Madrid tracksuit…

“[On the breakdown of his relationship with Fabio Capello], everyone says it was because I used to mimic him, but it wasn’t true.

“I fought with him in Xerez. We won 3-1 and he made me and Ronaldo warm up for 45 minutes. I was beside [Capello] and we almost came to blows.

“He was right then and still is. Capello got the better of me.

“I had a season with him at Roma and scored 23 goals. Why? Because he always had a hammer behind me.”

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