Its summer 2010 and you are the chairman of a massive European club whose glories are becoming a distant memory. You are being overshadowed by your local neighbors and your squad is ageing.
What do you do?
That’s right you go and get your team two of the most demanding, pampered players possible who have huge abilities but sometimes prefer not to use them.
Your gamble pays off though and by Christmas you are top of the league and will be playing Champions League football in the New Year. So do you consolidate your position or grow from this reclaimed position of strength? Or do you do something totally different like get yourself another demanding, pampered player with huge ability that sometimes prefers not to use them?
Well if you’re AC Milan you go for the third option.
In the summer they welcomed Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the San Siro. They joined a team in decline that had the ageing Seedorf, Pirlo, Gattuso, Inzaghi and Ronaldinho in the squad.
But the new purchases have done well and the team sit top of Serie A at Christmas.
So the piece of business they concluded this week will either kick the team on or will they implode?
Welcome aboard Antonio Cassano.
When you look up football maverick you have a picture of Cassano. He is the epiphany for the phrase, neologism, which is an Italian euphemism for behavior that is incompatible with team spirit.
He is a hugely talented footballer who does not score huge amounts of goals but you don’t buy Cassano for goals. It is for is crazy ability to manipulate a football. But with that you get the enfant terrible of Italian football who loves his pastry and women.
He has been willingly shoved out of his previous club, Sampdoria due to his irrational behavior and now finds himself at a true giant of Italian football with Milan. The thought of Cassano and Zlatan together is truly frightening.