Cassano delivers third U-turn in baffling week to confirm retirement

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The high farce upon which Antonio Cassano seems determined to end his career was taken up a notch on Monday as the former Italy international reneged on two decisions not to retire to claim he has finally decided to hang his boots up.

Cassano signed for Hellas Verona on July 10, but told club officials that he would be retiring just eight days later, only to reverse that decision within a matter of hours.

The 35-year-old failed to last another week in the Serie A side's training camp, however, leaving the club, but insisting he would not be retiring in a message posted on his wife Carolina Marcialis' Twitter account.

Hours later, however, with the first post now deleted, Cassano delivered his third U-turn inside a bonkers week to confirm he will not take to the pitch again.

Once again posting on his wife's account, Cassano said: "Contrary to what appeared on my wife's official social-media profile, I would like to clarify the following. Carolina was wrong. After thinking and reflecting, in the end I decided: Antonio Cassano will not play football anymore.

"I apologise to the city of Verona, all the fans, the president Maurizio Setti, sporting director Filippo Fusco and the coach Fabio Pecchia, as well as my fellow players plus the medical and technical staff.

"As a 35-year-old man, I am motivated by my marriage. Right now, my priority is to be with my children and wife."

Setti had claimed that Cassano's "head wasn't right" in the aftermath of his departure and struck a suitably baffled tone when addressing his latest decision.

"I remain and will remain astonished by what I've learned about Cassano's apparent lack of motivation," Setti said in a statement.

"While pointing out that the player is still contracted to the Gialloblu, I'd also like to say that the Verona group comes before the individual and before any player."