The Italian Almanac

Antonio Cassano

Cassano - Back to Old Habits

Antonio Cassano's return to bad habits overshadowed Monday's post-match chat about Roma's renewed hopes of closing the gap on Inter and Italian chances in this week's Champions League games. ''Antonio's technical qualities are incredible but certain types of behaviour are unacceptable,'' Sampdoria General Manager Giuseppe Marotta told Italian radio. ''We now have to sit down with him and make him understand that these antics can seriously compromise his future''.

Earlier, former top referee Paolo Casarin said Cassano should get a five-match ban for hurling insults, threats and his jersey at the ref during Samp's 2-2 draw with Torino. ''It's what he deserves,'' Casarin said. The Italian sports press predicted that Cassano's latest outburst might scupper his hopes of a return to the Italy squad for Euro 2008. ''Cassano now has his work cut out to make the memory of this latest escapade disappear, especially for such a strict boss as Roberto Donadoni,'' said La Gazzetta dello Sport. ''The last thing Cassano needed was another 'cassanata','' said the other sports daily, Corriere dello Sport, using the term pundits coined several years ago for the 25-year-old's tantrums.