Cassano: Mazzarri forced me out of Inter
By Football News
New Parma signing Antonio Cassano has claimed he was forced out of Inter by recently appointed coach Walter Mazzarri.
The Italy international scored seven goals in 28 Serie A appearances last term, but struggled to nail down a regular starting berth under Andrea Stramaccioni in his first season at the San Siro.
It had been suggested that the arrival of Mazzarri from Napoli could change Cassano's situation, but the 30-year-old has explained that the Italian had no intention of utilising him as a first-team fixture.
"I thank (president Massimo) Moratti, (sporting director Marco) Branca and (director Piero) Ausilio, but not Mazzarri, because before he signed he told me that I was a fixed starter with the team and then after he arrived he said I was a starter, but one that should go home," he said.
"He pushed me to go away. I went away because I could not return to Inter in his plans. Everyone must be aware that when you have Antonio, it is for better or worse.
"Throughout my career I have achieved 30-40 percent of what I was capable of."
The former Roma, Real Madrid and Milan forward also insisted there are no hard feelings over his exit from Inter, but hinted at an uneasy relationship with the now-unemployed Stramaccioni.
"We immediately start with the controversy (laughs). With the players I had a wonderful relationship, I leave behind many friends, they told me that they will miss me, and I even saw the president," he added.
"Stramaccioni, on the other hand, I have nothing to say."
Cassano went on to thank the people involved in bringing him to the Stadio Ennio Tardini and spoke of his desire to return to the Italian national team.
"I thank the president (Tommaso Ghirardi), who wanted me, and the sporting director (Pietro) Leonardi, who called me every hour," he continued.
"I do not know where things will take us, but I am sure I will get a lot of satisfaction here. And then, this is a World Cup year. I hope that this is my last club and I want to end my career doing well. I like big challenges. I was already given up for dead in Madrid. I won again. I want to be a protagonist.
"Here we will have to begin well. After that I do not know what will happen. (Coach Roberto) Donadoni told me that here you live well and think big. That everyone is happy to have me here.
"In my contract I have a bonus for returning to the national team, this will push me to do even better."