Former Real Madrid and Milan star Cassano announces retirement at 36

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Antonio Cassano is hanging up his boots after admitting that he no longer has the "mentality to train consistently".

Former Italy international Antonio Cassano has announced his retirement from football just a week after linking up with Serie C minnows Virtus Entella.

The former AC Milan, Inter and Real Madrid forward had been without a club since a brief pre-season training stint with Verona in July 2017, and last played an official league game in May 2016 for Sampdoria.

Cassano, who won 39 caps for Italy, had agreed to train with Entella without signing a contract, but the 36-year-old has now revealed his decision to call it quits. 

In a statement released via reporter Pierluigi Pardo, Cassano said: "Over the last few days of training, I realised that I no longer have the mentality to train consistently.

"In order to play football, you need passion and talent, but above all determination and at this moment I have other priorities.

"Now the second half of my life begins. I am curious and fired up to prove first of all to myself that I can do good things even without the help of my feet."

Cassano had claimed back in August that he still felt fresh, with many years of competitive action ahead of him.

He told Il Mattino: “Remember Almeyda, the Argentina midfielder who played with Parma and Lazio? He stopped for two years then started again with River Plate, who play in a physical league.

“If I have the opportunity, I'll always make a difference. I'm 110 per cent, I feel good with my head and my body – as for the feet, I can play until I'm 60!

“I often talk with Ale [agent Alessandro Moggi], he performs miracles."

No miracle has occured, though, and Cassano will now be hanging up his boots.

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