Cassano excited at World Cup chance
Parma forward Antonio Cassano is excited at the prospect of featuring for Italy at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The 31-year-old has been in outstanding form this season, scoring 11 goals in 26 Serie A matches for UEFA Europa League hopefuls Parma.
Cassano's club are unbeaten in 16 league matches, with his double in a 4-2 win at former club Milan continuing that run on Sunday.
The forward last played for Italy at UEFA Euro 2012 but has been encouraged by recent quotes from Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, who said that Cassano was firmly on his radar and that he would pick his team on form, not age.
"I heard what Prandelli said and I was very pleased," Cassano told Corriere dello Sport.
"I have to thank him. I understand that the challenge is beautiful and open.
"I am very happy because what will determine it is what happens in the field. And from that point of view I would say that I will give my all.
"It is a challenge that will allow me to start over in some ways, but also to conclude. I am a player who has had too much and on occasion thrown it away. I've always been one to do that.
"Now I have to think less about what was and more about the present.
"The present is what I want – the World Cup."
"Have I considered going? Sometimes I think about it…to get to the World Cup would be a success.
"Perhaps I could be decisive, to be appreciated there, it would be something I could keep with me for quite a while."
Cassano also dismissed reports linking him with a switch to Napoli, adding: "Napoli? I have two more years on my contract, I really want to finish my career at Parma."