Antonio Cassano, the 23-year-old striker from Bari in Puglia, has been bought by
Real Madrid on a four and a half year contract in a transfer deal worth 5 million euros to his last employers, the famous "Roma" team. The transfer price was low because
Cassano's contract with Roma was due to expire this month, however the player will
be paid 4 million euros a year by his new team. Cassano, has been portrayed as a
troublemaker by his employers and colleagues at Roma, where he has been a team
member since 2001. For the past season he has played infrequently and was often
shown in the newspapers sitting on the side line looking glum.
The vice president of Real Madrid, Emilio Butragueno, presented Cassano to the press
on 4 January saying that his new club expected him to take his responsibilities
seriously on and off the pitch. Cassano claims to have always dreamed of playing for
Real Madrid and will probably make his debut for the team in a match against
Villarreal on Sunday 8 January, wearing his new number 19.
Feelings in Italy are mixed about the departure of the player, some are pleased and
relieved to see him go and others say that Italy will soon regret loosing its most
promising young player.