Italy ends their Euro 2012 qualifier campaign in convincing fashion by beating North Ireland 3-0, with Antonio Cassano playing an important role on the victory as the Ac Milan attacker bagged two goals on that match.
Beside establishing Cesare Prandelli’s trust on him ahead of the Euro next year, Cassano also announced his retirement plan to public, revealing that he only wants to play football for three or four more years again and retire right after participating in a World Cup.
Cassano, who has been important in Pradelli’s setup during the Euro qualifier opens his account midway in the first half with a wonderful goal, volleying Daniele De Rossi’s excellent through ball with a sweet first time right footed strike. The Milan striker was having a very good match despite being played for the first time up front alongside Parma’s Sebastian Giovinco, performing another mini-attacking duo, which created plenty dangerous movements inside the box.
Taking away a 1-0 lead from the first period, Italy struck again early in the second half as Cassano once again puts his name on the scoresheet, this time his measured strike from Alberto Aquilani’s assist, was just to good for North Ireland keeper. The ex-Sampdoria man was given a rest soon after bagging his brace and new comer, Pablos Osvaldo, was given a chance by Prandelli, but the Roma man wasn’t the one closing the 3-0 victory for the Azzurri as a combination of Andrea Pirlo and Federico Balzaretti forced own goal by Gareth McAuley.
Meanwhile, speaking right after the match, Cassano confirmed to the press that he has no intention in having a long footballing career as the Rossorei player targets the World Cup as his final competition before quitting football. The former As Roma player said that he wants to spend more time with his family and calling it quit while he is still at the top of his playing career.
“I keep coming in and out, but in three or four years I’ll stop with the Nazionale. I think I’ll play football for only that time, have a good Euros and a good World Cup, then at the age of 33 call it a day so I can enjoy my family.I want to be gone when I’m in good shape, not when I’m struggling,” Cassano stated.
This statement could served as an indication that Cassano will do everything he can in Euro as just like he said, there won’t be many footballing competition again for him in international level aside from the World Cup. The player would also try to provide his best in improving his club, Ac Milan, and try to drive them into glory again this season as performing well in the club, will help the striker gets in shape for next year’s Euro.
photo credit: Catatan Bola Photo Gallery