'I could have been like Messi'
Posted: 15 January 2019 Time: 18:30
Former Real Madrid striker Antonio Cassano believes he would've enjoyed a similar career as five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi if he took football seriously.
Cassano, 36, has often been lauded as the most naturally gifted talents of Italian football but failed to reach the early promise he displayed when he broke onto the scene with Bari and AS Roma in the early 2000s.
The former Italy striker recently claimed modern footballers are 'a bunch of losers' and don't compare to the legends of the yesteryear.
And while he's been critical of the current crop of players, the former Milan, Inter and Real superstar conceded he could've achieved the feats of the Barcelona's all-time record goalscorer - had he been more professional.
"I played in some of the strongest sides in the world, I can’t say that I wasn’t happy or lucky. I even knew that if I screwed up I’d get another chance somewhere else," he told Sky Italia.
"Like [former Roma teammate Francisco] Totti said a while ago, I only did 50 percent of what I was capable of doing. I was a disaster area sometimes and I hated training.
"If I had done what I should have done over the course of 15 years, I would have been like Messi.”
As a second-striker Cassano amassed 141 goals and registered 109 assists in 514 games throughout his controversial club career.