Cassano wants to continue Serie A career

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Antonio Cassano was released by Sampdoria last month but still believes he is worthy of playing for a Serie A side.

The enigmatic 34-year-old is not ready to call time on a career that has seen him take in spells at Roma, Real Madrid, Milan and Inter.

Despite failing to make an appearance for Sampdoria this season, he is proud of maintaining his physical condition - something he has struggled with throughout his career - and is confident he can still be of use to a top-flight club.

"I am another person now. I am more balanced and relaxed," Cassano told the Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

"I would like to continue playing because, after my wife and children, football is my life. I have been training hard with the youth team, because I am still very enthusiastic.

"It's the first time I've remained at my target weight even without playing for six months. I am convinced that I can still have fun and make the difference in Serie A."

Cassano left hometown club Bari for Roma in 2001, and the forward regrets not following the advice of club icon Francesco Totti more closely during his five-year stay at the Stadio Olimpico.

He said: "I had the chance to go to Juventus after Bari, but when I started playing, I really admired Totti. He was the best of them all and I could see some of myself in him.

"I was meant to be joining Juve, but once the offer from the Giallorossi came in, I told my agent we had to go to Roma.

"I went there only so that I could play alongside Totti. It's impossible not to be his friend. He's a humble, down to earth guy.

"If I had listened to just 10 per cent of all the positive advice that Totti gave me, I'd have had a very different career. If I'd listened to Totti, I probably would've stayed at Roma for 10-15 years along with him."

However, failing to make the most of his move to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2006 is what rankles with him most.

"My biggest mistake was the year-and-a-half at Real Madrid, because I did everything and more to ruin it. That's a huge regret," he said.

"I wanted to go home, as my mother wasn't happy in Madrid. There was the opportunity to play for Juventus in Serie B, I turned them down for the second time and went to Sampdoria."