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The Merengues' former general manager has criticised the attitude of the Italian striker during his spell with the Spanish giants

Jorge Valdano has claimed that Antonio Cassano did not respond adequately to the challenge posed by playing for Real Madrid when he joined the Blancos outfit in 2006.

The Italian striker was bought from AS Roma, where he had enjoyed a successful five-year spell on the pitch, after his relationship with head coach Luciano Spalletti had deteriorated over the renewal of his contract. He only remained in Madrid for one season, during which he made 19 appearances, scoring only twice amid a rift with the Blancos' coach Fabio Capello.

In an interview for Marca, Jorge Valdano, who was Real Madrid's general manager at the time, acknowledged the Italian's quality while questioning his attitude.
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"Cassano did not respond with professionalism to the challenge posed by playing for Real Madrid," the Argentine said.

"In this club, the competition is so great you only get an opportunity to prove yourself for one season. In the second it is too late for everything because they give you the passport."

Cassano was notably fined for gaining too much weight in his first few months in Madrid, while he depicted in his autobiography (Vi Dico Tutto) the hectic lifestyle he led while in Spain.

Still, Jorge Valdano acknowledged the Italian could prove as useful on the pitch as he can be problematic off it.

"Pirlo is the substance of the Italian football team, while Cassano is the imagination. He is a player who at any time of the game has solutions that neither the coach nor the other players can give."