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 By Ben Gladwell

Antonio Cassano left Verona because he did not want 'season of sufferance'

Antonio Cassano said there 'wasn't any spark with Verona.'

Antonio Cassano has said he did not quit Hellas Verona in the summer because of homesickness but because he did not want a season of struggle.

Cassano, 35, is without a club after leaving Verona less than a month after they had taken a gamble on him despite the fact he had not played in more than a year.

He had initially left because of the distance to his family, but he had a change of heart after his wife and children paid him a visit at the club's training camp.

A week later, he left but has now stressed that was not because he wanted to move back to his family in Genoa.

"The problem is when Cassano decides to do something, he's labelled as either crazy or depressed," he told Mediaset.

"There just wasn't any spark there with Verona. If you're seeing a girl and you're not attracted, then you leave her.

"So I decided to leave, passing up on a lot of money, which not everybody would do. Why should I have stayed where I wasn't happy?

"They told me to say that I was retiring, but the truth is that I left them on good terms, but I just didn't want to stay there, full stop.

"I was just not willing, at 35, to play a season of sufferance."

Verona have picked up just one point from their first four games and they host Cassano's former club Sampdoria on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Cassano has said he believes Serie A leaders Inter Milan should be considered favourites to win the title this season.

"I think Inter will win it because they've got [coach Luciano] Spalletti on the bench, who is so good," he said.

"He manages to motivate his players to the maximum. When I played for him at Roma, I had problems with the club and so I was only there a few days before going to Real Madrid.

"But he played me in a few games and I would have liked to have been coached by him."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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